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Hurricane Safety Tips

he 2022 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1st and it’s expected to be another busy year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting above average activity this year. It’s predicting 14 to 21 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Of those, researchers expect
6 to 10 storms to become hurricanes and 3 to 6 storms to reach major hurricane strength. People should prepare the
same for every hurricane season, regardless of how much activity is predicted. For your information, a tropical
storm has sustained winds of 39 mph; it becomes a hurricane when its winds reach 74 mph or greater. It becomes a major hurricane, a Category 3 or higher, when winds near the center reach 111 mph. The following names will be used for named storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean in 2022. The first name to be used this season is Alex followed by
Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie, and Walter. What is a hurricane? A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, the general term for all circulating weather systems over tropical waters. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows:
Tropical Depressions – an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined
maximum sustained winds of 38 mph or less. Tropical Storm – an organized system of strong thunder- Hurricane Safety Tips storms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph. Hurricane – an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. In the western
Pacific hurricanes are called “typhoons” and similar storms in the Indian Ocean are called “cyclones” Hurricanes form over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes can cause significant damage to coastal and inland areas, which include wind and rain damage, flooding, and storm surges. They can also produce tornadoes and microbursts. Hurricanes are classified into 5 categories. Each of the categories are based on wind speed and central pressure which is commonly referred to as the Saffir- Simpson Scale. Hurricanes can destroy property, uproot lives, and even cause loss of life, so be prepared. Here’s how: Plan and Prepare Have a plan of what everyone is to do and where to go in case of an emergency. Know who is in charge of younger children and loved ones, neighbors who may be elderly or have special needs, and pets. Know the evacuation routes and public shelters if you have to evacuate. Stock up on nonperishable food, water, medications and first aid supplies. Have a battery – powered radio and extra batteries on hand so you can stay informed. Have an emergency travel kit that includes food, water, battery- powered radio, flashlight, and first aid supplies. Consider flood insurance and take pictures of your belongings before disaster strikes. Disaster Supply Kit Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days. Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days. non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices food for infants or the elderly snack foods non-electric can opener cooking tools / fuel paper plates / plastic utensils Blanket / Pillows, etc. Clothing – seasonal / rain gear / sturdy shoes First aid kit / medicines / prescription drugs
Special items – for babies and the elderly Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes Flashlight / Batteries
Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra an battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set Cash (with some small bills) and credit cards – bank and ATMs may not be available for extended periods. Keys Toys, Books, and Games Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag Tools – keep a set with you during the storm Vehicle fuel tank filled Pet care items – ample supple of food, water, medications, proper identification, a carrier or cage, and a muzzle or leash
If a Hurricane Threatens Secure your home with storm shutters or plywood and stow outdoor objects. If you have a boat, secure it. Trim trees and shrubs around your home and clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts. Fill the bathtub with water and keep the refrigerator closed. Keep cell phones charged and avoid using them except for serious emergencies. Fill your car’s gas tank and have your emergency kit ready to go. Listen to the radio or TV for information. Evacuate if … Told to do so by local authorities. You live in a mobile home or temporary structure. You live in a high-rise building. Hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations. You live on the coast or near a river. If You Cannot Evacuate … Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Close all inside doors, and secure and brace outside doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not go outside if the storm dies down; it could be the eye of the storm and winds will pick up again. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level. Watch Your Water After a storm or other natural disaster, public water supplies and private wells may not be safe to drink. If you receive your water through a public system, know your water provider. Look for updates about the safety of your water supply from your provider or state officials. Water that is dark, has an odor, or has floating pieces should NOT be used. Water in water pipes, hot water heaters, and toilet tanks (not bowls) may be safe to drink IF the valve to the main water line was closed before the storm. Swimming pool water may be used for bathing, flushing toilets, etc., but not for drinking or cooking because of the chemical used to treat swimming pools. If You Use Well Water Save as much water as possible since your well will not work in a power outage. Fill the bathtub with water to be used for toilet flushing during a loss of power. If your well is flooded or damaged by the hurricane, assume that it is contaminated and do not use it until it has been flushed, disinfected and tested for bacteria. For more information on how to disinfect private wells, go to www.ct.gov/dph/privatewells. For additional information about hurricane safety visit www.ct.gov/hurricane or dial 2-1-1. Until next month, be safe! Submitted by Capt. Tony Orsini,
Terryville Fire Department Health & Safety Officer Sources of information: Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Connecticut Department of Public Health The Weather Channel New York State Emergency Management Office National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)



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