Hurricane season is approaching and we at MUSC Health want you to be prepared. Join us as we host our 15th annual Hurricane Awareness Day on May 20, 2014 at the MUSC Horseshoe from 10 am until 2 pm.
Now is the time to prepare for the next big hurricane, and we are bringing in emergency management representatives from around the region, such as Charleston County Emergency Management Division, Disaster Medical Assistance Team, Community Emergency Response Team, American Red Cross and many more. An expert panel review led by Rob Fowler will delve into challenges specific to the Charleston area. In addition, various emergency management staff from MUSC will be available to help students, faculty and staff make campus-related preparations.
Come out, grab a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks, enter for door prizes and most importantly, learn how you can prepare in advance for a weather emergency.
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Know your surroundings.
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- Make plans to secure your property:
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Install a generator for emergencies.
- If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows. When flooding may be occurring, be prepared to take shelter on a floor safely above the flooding and wave effects.
- Consider building a safe room.
While we are hopeful that we won’t be the victims of severe weather this hurricane season, please know that MUSC Health has emergency plans in place and will be ready to take care of you and the community should the need arise.