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Gustav Watch: How To Keep Safe In The Face of Hurricanes

Gustav is set to slam the U.S. Gulf Coast and many are bracing themselves for the impact. The Republican’s GOP convention, highly anticipated for weeks, if not months, is now being scaled back in the face of the storm. McCain has announced that the the convention will focus on raising funds for the eventual victims of the storm, and that the will stick to business and omit political rhetoric. President George Bush has announced that he himself will not attend the convention but will monitor the progress of Gustav instead.

The residents along the Gulf Coast are surely glued to the news channel, waiting to hear when and how strong the impact of Gustav will affect them. What should a family do during a possible hurricane?

Before the Storm

  • Stay home if an evacuation has not been announced and if you live in a structurally sound building
  • Secure windows and doors by duct tape or by nailing wood boards over them
  • Have an emergency kit at home
  • Prepare your water supply and food supply. A good tip is to fill your bathtub with clean water. Plan on using 3 gallons/person/day.
  • Have candles, flashlights, a backup generator if possible.
  • If you must go to a shelter, be prepared with food, clothing, important papers and magazines or books to pass time. Follow other directions given by officials.

During the Storm

  • Stay away from windows and doors. Debris would be more likely to go through these and the shards of glass will be dangerous. Put blankets over them if possible to prevent glass from blowing all over the place.
  • Turn off the electricity in the circuit breaker in case of flooding
  • Stay inside!
  • Don’t use charcoal grills indoors for alternative source of heat or cooking; it’s poisonous.

After the Storm

  • Don’t be part of the statistic of those who get injured, sometimes fatally after a storm. Stay inside until an official all clear is given
  • Avoid any exposed wires outside
  • To get in touch with loved ones, many are advocating using texts of a cell phone to avoid the busy circuits you’re sure to experience when calling. Use phone lines only for emergency.
  • Be careful of the roads and look for signs of weakness in bridge, of downed power lines and trees.
  • Report downed power lines and trees to authorities immediately.

Visit the National Hurricane Center for more info.


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