Health officials urge preparedness for hurricane season

Hurricane Sandy bears down on U.S. Mid-Atlantic coastline.
Hurricane Sandy did significant damage to the mid-Atlantic coastline.

Boston health officials are warning residents to think ahead as the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season intensifies. 

The season runs from June to November, but peaks in late August and September.

“Thankfully, we were spared the devastation experienced in New York and New Jersey, but the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy last October should be a reminder that preparing for the worst case scenario is the best decision,” S. Atyia Martin, director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness, said in a statement today.

Martin offered the following preparedness tips:

  • Get Ready: Start by checking your emergency supplies. Make sure you have food, drinking water, batteries, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, important paperwork, medications, a phone charger and other daily necessities on hand. Store a 3-5 day supply of nonperishable food and water (about 5 gallons per person) in an area that is not at risk of flood damage. You can freeze perishable food items to keep them fresh for longer. Ahead of a storm, fill your vehicle’s gas tank, and make arrangements with family, friends, and neighbors to help one another with transportation during an emergency. Also be sure to prepare an emergency kit for your car that includes food, road flares, jumper cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and sleeping bags.
  • Be Safe: Look for updated information about potential storms on TV, radio and social media. During a hurricane, most injuries are caused by flying glass and other debris. Stay safe indoors by avoiding windows and seeking shelter in a bathroom or basement, if necessary. To keep food safe during a power outage, open your refrigerator and freezer as little as possible. Food in an unopened fridge will stay cold for about four hours, and a full freezer can keep food at a safe temperature for up to 48 hours. If you have to evacuate your home, take only the essential items with you; turn off your utilities and appliances; and follow designated evacuation routes.
  • Stay Healthy: If we prepare before a hurricane and take steps to be safe when one strikes, the healthier and stronger we will be as a community. Check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly, before, during, and after a hurricane. You can avoid cabin fever by having games and other entertainment in your home, but remember that you might not be able to rely on electricity.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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