Before the storm

As the Atlantic Hurricane Season enters its fifth month now is not the time to become complacent.

While no major storms have lashed these shores, householders should ensure they are ready.

Today we bring you some tips on what to do before the hurricane and on approach of the hurricane as well as what a bulletin and a warning mean.


*Bulletin – issued when a significant weather system is detected in the area;

*Advisory – issued at regular intervals when a tropical storm or hurricane is first detected in the area;

*Watch – issued when the hurricane continues its advance and hurricane conditions are a real possibility within 48 hours.

*Warning – issued when once it is established that a hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.


*Windows and doors. Make sure that all fasteners for outside doors and windows are in order; Wherever possible, windows should be reinforced with shutters and doors with bars.

*The Roof. Make sure that the roof covering is properly fixed to the rafters. Roof sheeting must be properly fixed to supports, preferably with long drive screws. Spaces between the roof and the supports should be sealed off during hurricane periods. A high wind will lift a roof if it gets into the air space between the roof and the supports

*Frames of Wooden Houses. Wooden corner posts of houses should be secured to stone blocks by fixing stakes to the posts and driving them well into the ground. If the posts are resting on concrete blocks they should be firmly fixed to the blocks with iron strips embedded in the concrete. Houses should be protected against wood ants. Houses infected by these termites very often collapse in a hurricane.

*Useful Supplies. Try to ensure that there is a reserve supply of tinned milk and other tinned food as emergency rations in the home. Keep one or two hurricane lanterns filled with kerosene. Keep matches in readiness also. A small quantity of first-aid supplies may be useful. Keep supplies of clean drinking water to hand. Make sure that any open drinking water tanks are kept securely covered. Have a can opener.

*Trees. Any trees or branches which hang directly over a house or which look as if they might damage it in a hurricane should be trimmed.

*Shelter. Know where your Emergency Shelter is located.


*On hearing ‘hurricane advisory’- listen carefully for other messages which follow the advisory.

*On hearing ‘hurricane watch’- continue normal activities, but stay tuned to radio or television for further messages.

*On hearing ‘hurricane warning’ -see that all livestock have plenty of water and food, and fasten them securely in suitable buildings, if not leave them untethered.

– Fill as many clean receptacles as possible with drinking water;

– Shut, fasten and barricade all windows and outside doors;

-If possible, prepare buckets of sand for use in case a fire breaks out; take cover in as secure a shelter as possible. Certain churches, schools and public buildings will be opened for those needing to shelter in them. It would be wise to take a small supply of food to the shelter; Take your medication with you.

– If shelter is taken in a house that shows signs of collapsing, then the best place to take a cover is under stairs or under shout table or bedstead.

*All fishing boats should be drawn up well above high water mark.

*Next week we will look at what to do during and after the hurricane.

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