Jamaica Gleaner - - RURAL EXPRESS -

IIIIIIIIIIISe­cure your home by un­plug­ging ap­pli­ances and turn­ing off elec­tric­ity and the main wa­ter valve. Stay away from win­dows, sky­lights and glass doors. Obey evac­u­a­tion or­der, if is­sued.

IIIIIIIIIIMin­imise the dis­tance you must travel to reach a safe lo­ca­tion. Select the near­est pos­si­ble evac­u­a­tion des­ti­na­tion, prefer­ably within your lo­cal area, and map out your route. Choose the home of the clos­est friend or rel­a­tive out­side a des­ig­nated evac­u­a­tion zone, or go to a pub­lic shel­ter or ho­tel out­side of the vul­ner­a­ble area. Con­tact your lo­cal emer­gency man­age­ment of­fice to reg­is­ter or get in­for­ma­tion. Pre­pare your home prior to leav­ing by board­ing up doors and win­dows, se­cur­ing or mov­ing in­doors all yard ob­jects, and turn­ing off all util­i­ties. Be­fore leav­ing, fill your car with gas and with­draw ex­tra money from the ATM. Take all pre­scrip­tion medicines and spe­cial med­i­cal items, such as glasses and di­a­pers. If your fam­ily evac­u­a­tion plan in­cludes a boat or trailer, leave early. If you are or­dered by lo­cal of­fi­cials to evac­u­ate, do so as quickly as pos­si­ble. Don't de­lay. Stay tuned to a lo­cal ra­dio or tele­vi­sion sta­tion.


Prune tree limbs that are close to your house. They can cause dam­age to your home or util­ity wires dur­ing a storm.

Find a place to move your boat in an emer­gency.

If your home is at risk, plan in ad­vance where you will stay. Call the Of­fice of Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness and Emer­gency Man­age­ment (ODPEM) dis­as­ter co­or­di­na­tor for the lo­ca­tion of the near­est shel­ter.

If you need trans­porta­tion to a pub­lic shel­ter due to spe­cial needs – such as age, phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity or men­tal dis­or­der, reg­is­ter in ad­vance with the near­est parish coun­cil of­fice and the ODPEM. Park your car in a place that will be safest from fall­ing trees and util­ity poles. If you are in a high-rise, know the lo­ca­tion of the near­est stair­way. Don’t use the el­e­va­tor. Bat­ten down win­dows and doors with shut­ters or lum­ber. Wedge slid­ing glass doors with a bar.

Turn re­frig­er­a­tor and freezer to the cold­est level. Freeze wa­ter in plas­tic con­tain­ers. Sani­tise bath­tubs and fill with wa­ter. Wrap im­por­tant pa­pers (pass­ports, birth cer­tifi­cates, etc) in plas­tic or in wa­ter­proof con­tain­ers and store in a safe room.

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