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Supplies Checklist, Important Numbers and Shelter Locations for Hurricanes and Emergencies in Abaco.

Hurricane Info and Cheklists

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Hurricane Shelters

(Updated October 2015) 

Dundas Town:
Central Abaco Primary,
Friendship Tabernacle Church

Marsh Harbour:
St. Francis d Sales Church, Marsh Harbour

Murphy Town:
Abaco Central High School

Man-O-War:
Man-O-War Public School

Guana Cay:
Guana Cay All Age School

Hope Town:
Hope Town Primary School

Moore’s Island:
Soul Seeking Ministry
Moore’s Island All Age School

Sandy Point:
Sand Point Community Centre

Crossing Rocks:
Crossing Rocks Primary School

Cherokee Sound:
Assemblies of God Church

Green Turtle Cay:
Amy Roberts Primary School

Cooper’s Town:
Faith Walk Church of God (Community Centre)

Fox Town:
Fox Town Primary

Grand Cay:
Grand Cay All Age School
Shiloh Baptist Church

 

Before a hurricane threatens

Prepare Your Home

Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed during Hurricane Season (June-November). Do NOT trim trees after a Hurricane Watch or Warning has been announced as trimmings could become dangerous missiles.

If you have storm shutters, make sure they are in working order and fit properly. If you do not have shutters, have them installed or lay in a supply of plywood to use as shuttering.

NOTE. Taping windows will not protect your home, although the tape may keep some of the glass from flying into the house when the window is smashed.

Review Your Insurance

It is advisable to secure your insurance policy in advance, no application for insurance will be accepted, or coverage increased, once a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Bahamas.

Speak to your agent and ask these key questions

Do I have replacement cost coverage on all property, including contents?

What are the deductibles? (Usually 2% of the Sum Insured).

Are there any exclusions?

Does the policy cover flood, wind and storm damage?

If the dwelling is rendered uninhabitable by a hurricane, does the policy cover relocation or temporary housing?

Take photos of your house, inside and out, for documentation of its condition and contents.

Make a list of all your important belongings.

 

Emergency Equipment And Supplies

Purchase and set aside hurricane supplies – See below for a detailed listing.

Check the working condition of all emergency equipment such as generators, flash lights, battery-powered radios, etc.

 

Supplies Checklist

Have a two week-supply of the following

Water (One gallon per person per day)

Non-perishable foods: canned meat, fish, fruit and vegetables

Bread in moisture proof packaging, cookies, candy, dried fruit

Canned soups, juices

Powdered milk or single serve drinks

Cereal bars, peanut butter and jelly

Instant coffee and/or tea

Flashlight (one per person) and extra batteries

Portable battery-powered lantern

Battery operated or wind-up radio or TV

Portable cooler and ice

Weatherproof matches

Butane lighter

Cooking Equipment

Sterno

Portable camp stove or grill and extra fuel

Stove fuel or charcoal, lighter fluid

Manuel can opener

Disposable eating utensils

Plates and cups

Napkins and paper towels

Aluminium foil

Oven mitts

 

Medical and emergency supplies

First aid kit including pain reliever, antibiotic cream, antacids

Prescriptions (one month’s supply)

Mosquito repellent

Mosquito net

Sun screen (45 SPF recommended)

ABC rated fire extinguisher

Cash

Bleach or water purification tablets

Water and fireproof container for document storage

 

Documents

Photocopies of prescriptions

Photo identification

Medical history and information

Backup disks of your home computer files

Camera

 

Babies

Disposable diapers (month’s supply)

Formula, food and medication

 

Other Necessities

Tools: hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers, nails, saw, tree saw

Trash bags (lots of them)

Cleaning supplies

Plastic drop cloth

Masking or duct tape (for packaging purposes)

outdoor extension cord

 

Personal Supplies:

Toilet paper

Entertainment: book, magazines, card games, etc

Soap and detergent

Toiletries

Rain ponchos and work gloves

Extra glasses or contact lenses   Babies

Disposable diapers (month’s supply)

Formula, food and medication

Protect Your Business

Make backup plans NOW by identifying and protecting vital records, such as:-

Computer software

Accounts receivable records

Client records

Other important personnel and administrative documents.

 

Important Numbers

Police: Emergencies Only

Marsh Harbour – 911 or 367-3437

Cooper’s Town – 365-0002 or 365-0004

Fox Town – 365-2111 or 365-2117

Green Turtle Cay – 365-4133

Hope Town – 366-0667

Man-O-War – 365-6911

Treasure Cay – 365-8048

Sandy Point – 366-4044

Environmental Health: 699-0032

Ministry of Works: 367-5227

Red Cross: 475-6558

BEC: 367-2727

BTC: 367-2200

 

Protect Your Boat

Develop a plan well in advance

You can store a small boat with a trailer in a warehouse or a garage.

If you leave your boat outside, attach the trailer tongue to a firm spot in the ground, deflate the tires, and lash the boat to the trailer. Place boards between the axle and the frame to prevent damage to the trailer springs.

If your boat is in a marina check with the dockmaster for any special requirements.

Your insurance policy should include adequate coverage for damage that your boat may cause to other property.

Inventory all vessel equipment and keep a copy in a safe place off the boat.

Identify safe harbours and take a test run to one NOW, checking route conditions and travel time.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, plan to “ride out” the storm on your boat.

 

When A Hurricane Threatens

Inside Your Home

Establish a “Safe Room”. This should be an interior room, free of windows, or a room with a small window, such as a bathroom. Make sure your safe room has a clear pathway to an exit.

Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting.

Turn off your gas at the bottle.

Freeze water in plastic jugs and use them to fill empty spaces in your refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cool.

Prepare an emergency water supply for bathing and sanitary purposes by storing water in clean air-tight containers, including your water heater and washing machine.

Store valuables and personal papers in water-tight containers and store these in the highest possible spot in your home.

 

Outside Your Home

Put up your shutters or install pre-cut plywood over all windows and glass doors.

Close all windows (Remember to open one on the lee-side during the storm).

DO NOT drain your swimming pool

Add extra chlorine to prevent contamination.

Turn off electricity to pool equipment.

Bring inside all objects that can be blown away, including garbage cans, TV antennas, satellite dishes, lawn furniture, garden tools and potted plants. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.

If you don’t have a garage or carport, park your car as close to the house as possible away from trees.

Fill your car’s gas tank early, after a hurricane gasoline may not be available due to power outages.

 

 

During The Storm

Do remember to open a window or door on the lee-side if the house to relieve pressure in the house.

 

After The Storm

Do keep an ear on your radio in case storm returns, or another threatens

Stay away from ALL downed power lines. Even if power is off in your neighborhood, the lines may still be “live”.

Call  utility company immediately to report downed lines or broken water mains

Take picture of your home, then make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Save receipts for all transactions (This is so you can present evidence to insurer, all of whom like to see evidence).

Don’t drink untreated water (See note below).

Don’t call any emergency number except for a life-threatening situation.

Don’t walk around without shoes or allow children to play in standing water.

Don’t run a generator indoors, even in the garage.

Don’t connect a generator to your house wiring, unless the house wiring has been checked by a competent electrician and the mains power has been isolated.

It is best to use stored or bottled water for cooking, drinking and your pets, store it in a cool dark place.

If you are suspicious of your water supply please take the following precautions:-

1              Remove particles by straining the water through a paper towel, cloth or coffee filter

2              Purify the water by doing one of the following (both, if possible)

Boil at a rolling rate for at least three minutes.

Add 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 or 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient, to one gallon of water. Let stand for 30 minutes. If water smells slightly of bleach, it is safe for use. If not, repeat the process. If the water still does not smell of bleach, discard it and find another source of water.

 

 

 

Understanding the Terminology

A tropical cyclone is a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-level circulation. Tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.

Tropical Depression—A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.

Tropical Storm— A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots).

Hurricane—A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.

Major Hurricane—A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

 

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed.

This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage.

Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale for the Continental United States

Categories:

(1) 74-95 mph winds: Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

(2) 96-110 mph winds:  Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

(3) 111-129 Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

(4) 131-156 Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

(5) >156 Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

 

Hurricane Hazards

Storm Surge/Tide

Storm surge and large waves produced by hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property along the coast.

STORM SURGE is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. Storm surge can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline. In the northern hemisphere, the highest surge values typically occur in the right front quadrant of a hurricane coincident with onshore flow; in the southern hemisphere, the left front quadrant. More intense and larger hurricanes produce higher surge. In addition, shallower offshore waters contribute to higher storm surge inundation. Storm surge is by far the greatest threat to life and property along the immediate coast.

STORM TIDE is the water level rise during a storm due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. For example, if a hurricane moves ashore at a high tide of 2 feet, a 15 foot surge would be added to the high tide, creating a storm tide of 17 feet. The combination of high winds and storm tide topped with battering waves can be deadly and cause tremendous property damage along an area of coastline hundreds of miles wide.

The destructive power of storm surge and large battering waves can result in loss of life, buildings destroyed, beach and dune erosion and road and bridge damage along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland. In estuaries and bayous, salt water intrusion endangers public health and the environment.

Tornadoes

Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane; however, they canalso occur near the eyewall. Usually, tornadoes produced by tropical cyclones are relatively weak and short-lived, but they still pose a significant threat.

Winds

Hurricane-force winds, 74 mph or more, can destroy buildings and mobile homes. Debris, such as signs, roofing material, siding and small items left outside become flying missiles during hurricanes. Winds can stay above hurricane strength well inland.

Rainfall

Tropical cyclones often produce widespread, torrential rains in excess of 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. In fact, flooding is the major threat from tropical cyclones for people living inland. Flash flooding, defined as a rapid rise in water levels, can occur quickly due to intense rainfall.

Rainfall amounts are not directly related to the strength of tropical cyclones but rather to the speed and size of the storm, as well as the geography of the area. Slower moving and larger storms produce more rainfall.

Rip Currents

The strong winds of a tropical cyclone can cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors. When the waves break along the coast, they can produce deadly rip currents—even at large distances from the storm. Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore.

What Do You Think?

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About Bradley Albury

Bradley Albury

Editor-in-Chief of The Abaconian.

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