ODPEM Government of Jamaica
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
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Disasters Do Happen
 
Protect Yourself From Hurricanes

 


At the Start of the Hurricane Season
  • Check thoroughly the roof of your house, hurricane shutters, hooks and latches and repair where necessary.
  • Make sure that galvanized sheeting on the roof of your house is properly fastened.
  • Keep in stock extra plastic bags and sheets of plastic. Plastic is essential to prevent important documents, paintings, equipment and furniture from getting wet.
  • Keep handy a supply of lumbar, plywood, timber, etc. for battening down purposes.
  • Trim trees that touch power lines or hang over the house and other buildings.
  • Make sure that emergency cooking facilities such as coal stoves are in good working condition as these may be necessary.
  • Make sure you have a supply of kerosene and coal. Keep coal dry by wrapping in a plastic bag or other waterproof material.
  • Latch down securely all small buildings in the yard such as outdoor kitchens, pit latrines, tool sheds, barns, etc.
  • Store extra food, especially things that can be eaten without cooking or which need very little preparation. Electricity may be off during a hurricane, leaving you without refrigeration.
  • Place emergency food supply in a waterproof container and store in a closed box, cupboard or trunk.
  • Make sure you have emergency equipment in your home. These include waterboots, raincoats, flashlights, batteries, portable radio, kerosene lamps and matches.
  • Have simple first-aid equipment such as iodine, bandages, eye lotion, etc. at home.

During a Hurricane

  • Do not go outside unless it is absolutely necessary. When the winds get very strong, you are in danger of being hit by flying objects.
  • Children should not be taken outside, since they may be in danger of being blown away.
  • If you are away from home, remain where you are until the hurricane has passed. Many people have lost their lives trying to go from one place to another.
  • Keep a hurricane lamp burning, as it may make the night more tolerable.
  • If the house shows signs of breaking up, stay under a table or stand in a sturdy closet.
  • Be prepared for material falling from the ceiling.
  • If your glass windows have not been boarded up, place a large heavy object in front of the window to protect yourself and others from splintering glass.
  • Be calm! Your ability to act logically is important.
  • Listen to the radio for information on what is happening.

After a Hurricane

  • Seek medical attention at first-aid stations, hospitals or clinics for persons injured during the storm.
  • Do not touch loose or dangling electrical wires. Report these to the power company, the nearest police station or parish council.
  • Report all broken sewer or water mains directly to the parish council, the public works department or water resources authority for your area.
  • Immediately after the hurricane don’t use stored water for washing houses, cars and watering gardens until normal water services have been restored.
  • Do not empty water stored in bathtubs or other receptacles until safe drinking water is restored.
  • Boil all drinking water until you are sure that a safe water supply has been restored.
  • Watch out for fallen trees. Collect fallen branches and other debris and pile them where they can be easily collected.
  • Do not go outside barefooted. Avoid wearing open shoes and watch out for broken glass.

 

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