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What to do before, during and after the storm

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Posted at 1:25 PM, Oct 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-27 13:25:08-04

Here are a few tips, provided by State Farm, on how to stay safe as Hurricane Sandy approaches. 

Before the Storm

  • Stock a three-day supply of nonperishable food and three gallons of water for each person in your home.
  • Listen for weather alerts and updates on a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
  • Prepare alternative heat sources such as a wood-burning fireplace or stove, or a space heater certified by an independent testing laboratory.
  • Purchase a generator.
  • Check batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
  • Check that your fire extinguisher is full.
  • Know how to shut off water valves so that you can take action if a pipe bursts.
  • Bring pets indoors. Put horses and livestock in a protective shelter with food and water.

Gather supplies, including batteries, blankets, flashlights and a first-aid kit. 

During the Storm

  • Stay inside. 
  • Listen for weather updates.
  • Eat regularly to give your body energy to produce heat.
  • Stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. (Caffeine accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia, and alcohol slows circulation; both cause dehydration.)
  • Lower the temperature inside your home, and close off the furnace registers to unoccupied rooms (and then close their doors) to conserve heat.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles if you’re without electricity.
  • Do not use a generator inside your home or close to your home’s exterior.

Plug space heaters directly into wall sockets and unplug them when they’re not in use. Keep space heaters 3 feet away from flammable materials. Be sure to properly ventilate alternative heaters to avoid fires and carbon monoxide poisoning

After the Storm

  • Check on neighbors, friends and loved ones to make sure they are okay.
  • Move to a public shelter if you’re without power or heat. Avoid travel until roads are clear. If you must go out, use public transportation.

For Flooded Roadways

  • If you can, simply avoid flooded areas — especially those with rapid water flow. Keep things safe and simple: reschedule your plans if you’re aware of flooding in the area.
  • If flooding occurs when you’re on the road, stay on high ground. Experts also advise against driving in deep water, especially when the water could be fast-moving or the depth is not known.
  • If your vehicle stalls, DO NOT attempt to restart it, as your engine may be damaged. Leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly when threatening conditions exist.

If Your Power is Out:

  • If possible, use flashlights instead of candles for emergency lighting. Candles used in unfamiliar settings can be dangerous fire hazards.
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment, or electronics that were on when the power went out. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary “surges” or “spikes”* that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer, or furnace.
  • Leave one light on so you know when the power returns.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer. This will help keep your food as fresh as possible. Be sure to check food for signs of spoilage.
  • Use generators safely. If you have a portable generator, only run it outdoors with adequate ventilation. Never use a generator indoors or in attached garages. The exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled.
  • Listen to the radio for updates. 
  • Check for updates on Facebook Twitter via your Phone on WTKR.com.