Saturday, October 27, 2012

There's a storm a brewin'

The "Frankenstorm" is Coming -- Is Your Business Prepared to Weather the Storm?

By now we've all heard about Hurricane Sandy, the "Frankenstorm" that is threatening the area. This is expected to be a slow moving/long lasting system with gusty tropical storm force winds, heavy rain and flooding. Earlier today Governor McDonnell declared a state of emergency in preparation for the storm. Make sure your business is prepared before the storm arrives. Below we've outlined some emergency preparedness tips, courtesy of the CDC:
Storm Coming Picture 1. Gather Emergency Supplies
If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family. And don't forget to take your pets and service animals into account!

2. Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit
Assemble the following items to create kits for use at home, the office, at school and/or in a vehicle:

  • Water-one gallon per person, per day (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Food-non­perishable, easy­to­prepare items (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery­powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7­day supply) and medical items
  • Multi­purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two­-way radiosExtra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
3. Gas
Fill your car's gas tank. Gas stations will be in short supply in a power outage.

4. Generators
If you have a generator or plan to buy one, please be familiar with safety tips.

5. Food Safety
Power outages and flooding may happen as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane, so have a plan for keeping food safe. Have a cooler on hand to keep food cold, and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.

6. Outdoor Items
Plan to secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.

7. Trees
Remove dead limbs on trees that could fall on your property (home, car, land).

8. Leaves
Clear leaves from storm drains, gutters and other areas that, if clogged, could cause flooding.

9. Weather Forecasts
Pay close attention to weather forecasts for the latest storm track. We will provide guidance as needed. Purchase or charge up your weather radio. If you have a weather radio that uses SAME codes, Fairfax County's SAME code is 051059.

10. Tech Ready
View our Digital Preparedness Kit, which is an important way to stay informed and connected before, during and after an emergency.

11. Phone Numbers
Save important phone numbers to your phone or write them down, especially your power company. Always report a power outage.

12. Safe and Well Website Following the 2005 hurricane season, the Red Cross developed the Safe and Well website, which enables people within a disaster area to let their friends and loved ones outside of the affected region know of their well-being. By logging onto the Red Cross public website, a person affected by disaster may post messages indicating that they are safe and well at a shelter, hotel, or at home, and that they will contact their friends and family as soon as possible. During large-scale disasters, there will be telephone-based assistance via the 1-866-GET-INFO hotline for people who live within the affected areas and do not have Internet access, but wish to register on the Safe and Well website.   


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