Hurricane Irene Safety Tips
Click here to download these tips as a PDF.
Things to do before Irene gets here
- Make sure your windows are protected and your home is secured.
- Check your disaster supply kit. Make sure you have water, non-perishable food, medications, and don't forget that non-electric can opener!
- Clean containers for cleaning water. Line the bathtub with plastic sheeting or a clean shower curtain. Plan on three gallons per person per day for all uses (including flushing the toilet).
- Make sure that all flashlights and portable radios have a standby supply of batteries.
- Move outside items to safety - patio furniture, planters, children's toys, bicycles, and grills. Store propane tanks in a sheltered building, but not in your house or attached garage.
- If your home is in a floodplain, make sure sump pumps are operational. Check to see that drain outlets and gutters are free of debris.
- In basements that are prone to flooding, consider moving valuables, cardboard boxes and furniture to a higher level.
- You may want to place your valuable documents in waterproof containers or in a safe.
- Should wind gusts approach 60 mph, it is advised that you turn off electricity at the main circuit breaker or fuse box to protect electronic equipment and appliances from power surges.
- If you have to evacuate and go to a shelter, remove perishable items from your refrigerator and freezer, and make a final walk-through inspection before closing the door.
What to do - and not do - during Irene
- Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Find a safe area in your home - an interior room, a closet or bathroom on the lower level.
- If flooding occurs in your basement, turn off electricity to the area at the main breaker. Never stand in water or damp surfaces when opening the main breaker!
- Do not go outside. If the eye of the storm passes over this area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force and will come from the opposite direction.
- Also, do not go outside to see "what the wind feels like." You could easily be injured by flying debris.
- Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves, and generators indoors or near openings to your building.
- Turn off generators when refueling.
- Finally, remember basic safety tips about lightning, stay away from electrical equipment, don't use the phone or take a bath/shower, and avoiding going outdoors.
- Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in or near them.
- Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.
- Call Machias Police or Bangor Hydro immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, overturned gas tanks, etc.
- After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage. (Spoiled food is the cause of much sickness two days to a week after the storm.)