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Emergency 101 – Hurricane Season
Be informed. Have a plan. Prepare a kit.
We’re all familiar with the devastation that can be caused by bad weather. Videos and images across television, the internet, and social media show us the aftermath of major storms like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Collectively, these storms cost the United States hundreds of Billions of dollars, and thousands of human lives.
A Tropical Storm is a major cyclone forming over the ocean which consists of winds less than 74mph, and a hurricane has winds greater than 74mph. Since Hurricane Season typically runs between June 1st and November 30th, that’s what we’ve decided to talk about today. So what can you do to be ready for a hurricane? How can you prepare yourself, your family, and your home?
The first most important preparedness tip is to BE INFORMED. The National Weather Service (NWS) has various Forecast Offices throughout the country which are tasked with predicting weather patterns for the surrounding areas. Visit www.weather.gov to find the Forecast Office closest to you. This website can also provide information on how to purchase an emergency alerting weather radio, which will automatically alert you if there is an impending storm.
The NWS will post regular updates on weather, especially if a severe storm is expected. A Hurricane “Watch” means that a storm with 74mph or higher winds is possible within the next 48 hours. A Hurricane “Warning” means that the storm is expected within the next 36 hours or less.
It’s also important to be set up to receive local emergency alerts before, during, and after a severe storm or Hurricane. If you live in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, we recommend you go to www.tiogacountypa.us and click on the Blue Swift911 logo, or text “SWIFT911” to 99538. This will allow you to sign up for the Swift911 mass notification system and select which emergency alerts you’d like to receive.
When we come back, we’ll talk about what to do during a storm. Stay with us!
Welcome back. Before the break, we talked about the importance of knowing when a Hurricane is posing a threat to you and your family, but what should you do if a storm is on its way?
The next tip is to HAVE A PLAN. Every individual and family should have an emergency evacuation plan in place. This should include how you will leave, where you will go, and what you will take with you if you needed to evacuate your home. More information on this can be found at ready.gov.
In Pennsylvania, you may have noticed color coded detour signs. These pre-established detour routes are to be used in case an emergency forces the closure of a major roadway. When planning your evacuation route, it may be best to include the alternate route which follows these signs. Blue is a north detour, red is a south detour, green is an east detour, and black is a west detour. In some areas, there may also be orange or brown signs as well. More information can be found by searching “PennDOT Detour Signs” in a search engine.
If you do get caught in hurricane weather, you should expect high winds, heavy rain, and flooding. Sheltering-in-place during a major hurricane should be done as a last resort. If absolutely necessary, take refuge in an interior hallway or smaller room with no windows, such as a closet near load-bearing walls.
The most common injuries and fatalities during a Hurricane are caused by fallen trees and drowning. Always remember, turn around don’t drown.
Finally, the last tip is to HAVE A KIT. Every family should have an emergency preparedness kit on hand for such emergencies. This includes a 3-day supply of water, which consists of 3 gallons per person, per day, a battery or crank powered radio to receive emergency information, and a battery powered flashlight.
Government will do its best to keep citizens informed and plan for their safety, however it is every individual’s responsibility to have a plan and supplies in place to protect themselves from emergencies. We hope these tips have been helpful for you to do just that but, if you have any more questions, please feel free to visit ready.gov for more information.
Idea/Concept: Benton Best
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Benton Best
Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Canton Sentinel Newspaper, Citizens & Northern Bank, Matthews Motor Company
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