WATTS NEW: Are you storm ready?
Ensure that supermarket shopping is done ahead of time to avoid the last-minute rush.
It is that time of year when Barbadians become anxious with every dark cloud that passes over. Already, there have been four named storms for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season and Barbados has been lashed with heavy rains.
Follow these tips from The Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd. to ensure that you will be ready whenever severe weather comes.
- Confirm that your home insurance plan is up to date and you are fully covered for events such as flooding and property damage. Now is also a good time to check your auto insurance plan.
- Ensure all windows in your home are fitted with wooden shutters. Patio and lawn furniture should be moved indoors or bolted down. Ensure your yard is clean and free of debris.
- Arrangements should be made for pets to be accommodated at an animal shelter or let them loose from their pens.
Keep tools and equipment such as a hammer, saw, ladder, extra nails and lumber for makeshift repairs if needed.
- Make sure you have battery-operated lanterns or torches. The Barbados Light & Power recommends these instead of candles and lamps for emergency lighting.
- Trim tree branches. If trees have power lines running through them, call Light & Power at 626-9000.
- Ensure cupboards are stocked with the necessary food items: canned food, dry goods, adequate drinking water for all family members and pets and baby formula.
- Do not overstock your refrigerator or deep freezer. Limit the number of trips to the refrigerator if there is a power outage.
- These include a first aid kit, surgical alcohol, essential medication, prescription medication, battery operated flashlight, extra batteries, rain gear and a non-electric can opener.
- Store water for use in the bathroom and kitchen.
- If you need to leave your home, have bags with essential items at hand. This includes food supplies, clothes, identification and other important documents, medicines and emergency supplies.
- Know your shelters before evacuation and discuss the evacuation plan with family members before time.
- If you own a business ensure employees know the hurricane or storm plan – which includes the time the business will be closing. Take adequate measures to secure the infrastructure of the building and clean up loose debris from the surroundings. For those who will be required to report for work, transportation should be provided to and from work.
DURING THE HURRICANE:
- Continue to follow official weather updates from the MET Office.
- Do not venture outdoors until the all clear has been given from officials.
- Do not attempt to go outdoors to remove fallen tree branches or debris from around the home.
- Stay away from windows and glass doors while the hurricane or storm is passing.
AFTER THE HURRICANE:
- Avoid using the car and do not go sightseeing.
- Do not touch fallen power lines. Contact Light & Power to report damage to lines and equipment.
Remember, it can take weeks and even months for life to return to normal after a hurricane. Think about what you would do if your home was without electricity, running water or telephone services for more than a few days.
So, are you storm ready?