Hurricane Season is here; Are you prepared?

Ocean County residents will always remember the power and devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the more than 145 lives it took.

Now as we head into the month of July, we find ourselves right smack in the heart of another hurricane season and with the need to be ready for Mother Nature’s next potential punch.

Just because a few seasons have gone by without a storm themagnitude of Sandy, doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. Firsthand experience has taught us we must be prepared for hurricanes, severe weather and flooding at anytime time of the seasoneven if there is currently no threat,” says Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health.

Your preparation plan should include the following before and during a hurricane threat:

BEFORE

Stock Up On Emergency Supplies For Your Home and Car.(Always have an emergency car kit!).
Prepare an Emergency Food, Water & Medicine Supply – For Pets Too!
Gather Safety & Personal Care Items.
Make Plans to Evacuate.
Find Emergency Sheltering Sites.
Keep Important Documents in a Safe Place & KeepEmergency Phone Numbers Ready.
Review Homeowners Insurance Policy.
Keep Updated on the Storm and Watch For National Weather Service Alerts.
Keep Pets & Farm Animals in Safe a Place.
Clear Your Yard of Items That Can Blow Around and Cause Damage.
Cover Windows & Doors.

DURING –

Keep away From Floodwaters and Never Drive Through Flooded Roads. (Floodwater Often Carries Germs – Be Sure to Wash Your Hands With Soap & Water or Use Hand Sanitizer).
Floods Carry Disease. Use Insect Repellant. Wear Long Sleeves & Pants When Outdoors.
Keep Away From Power Lines & Hazardous Materials.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
When the Power is Out Use Flashlights Instead of Candles.

Little continued, “Keep in mind that once the storm is over, the threat of danger isn’t. There are still many potential public health and safety concerns after storm impact you need to think about in order to stay out of harm’s way.

Common hazards AFTER a hurricane include:

Be Careful of Vehicle and Non-Vehicle-Related Drowning.
Ensure CO2 Detectors are Working & Keep Safe From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Stay Away From Fallen Lines and Wet Electrical Devices.
Never Heat Your Home With a Gas Oven.
Be Aware of Any Lacerations That May Get Infected.
Be Aware of Exposure to Mold and Other Household Chemicals.
Stay Away From Damaged Buildings.
Don’t Eat Spoiled Food. “When in Doubt Throw it Out.”

Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator, Daniel E. Regenye adds, “All of these are good tips to keep in mind and have in your plan. Always be prepared for the three phases – before, during and after the storm. One day a thorough disaster plan may save the lives of you and your loved ones so don’t wait till the last moment or put it off another year.”

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