- Contributed article
Disaster Preparedness Guidelines
While this weekend’s forecast appears to be more of a rain event from Ian (thankfully) here is a reminder that on page 12 of your 2022-2023 Resident Directory are the following helpful tips for getting yourself prepared. Even heavy rain events can bring coastal flooding, so it’s best to always be in preparation mode at times like these!
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS GUIDELINES
The brief article below is an excellent reference for disaster preparedness and resources. But for newcomers to Fairfield Harbour, it is most important to remember we are located at the end of a six-mile road and potentially water, wind or water storms can isolate us from the ‘mainland’. Each resident should have plans to survive a minimum of three days or more on their own without access to the greater community. Our most predictable disasters are hurricanes which give us plenty of warning. Fairfield Harbour is likely to be isolated by high water and very likely will have interrupted utility services for a sustained period. The safest response to local hurricane warnings is to EVACUATE away from the storm’s impact. Whether you leave or plan to ‘ride it out’, it is best to keep your friends and neighbors apprised of your plans, location, and contact information.
In the event of any emergency, DIAL 911. Do not call Security (they will hear the call on their radio). During a hurricane, emergency personnel will not respond if there are sustained winds of 60 mph or higher.
Be informed and prepared!
When any disaster is eminent, listen to TV/radio broadcasting for official information and direction. Be sure you are signed up to receive updates from the POA office. (sign up at www.fh-poa.com)
Year round, the best strategy is to be prepared.
Assemble disaster supply/travel kit in advance of bad weather.
Prepare your home, including tie-downs for your propane tank, gas grill, deck furniture, etc..
Review insurance coverage details. Before hurricane season, check to be sure your house is adequately insured for both Wind and Hail, and Flood, including contents insurance. New policies are not written while a named storm is brewing and most are not in effect for at least 30 days.
Photograph interior and exterior of home and any high value items to document existence/condition.
Prepare/review your family plans including plans for pets.
Identify a shelter location within your home.
Identify evacuation route.
Choose out-of-state “check-in-contact” to call.
Put copy of document showing proof of ownership of residence (Property Tax Notice or lease) in each vehicle. Proof of residency is needed if return access is restricted after a storm. Your driver’s license is not sufficient proof of residency.
Consider purchasing a generator before disaster strikes. Test your generator frequently and adhere closely to safe use of generators.
Service your chainsaw.
When a hurricane watch is announced:
Consider evacuating. Stay ONLY if you are physically fit, self-sufficient and not caring for another member of your household.
Check food & water supplies, flashlights & batteries. Replenish as necessary.
Consider postponing elective surgery.
Fill prescriptions and obtain cash. Don’t forget pet medications.
Fuel car and move out of flood range – get fuel for generator.
Charge all power tools, rechargeable phones and other devices.
Fill at least one bathtub with water for personal hygiene or washing.
Prepare house, yard, boat, swimming pool, RV and trailers appropriately.
Review evacuation plans and inform family members/neighbors of plan, destination and contact information.
Store valuables and personal papers in waterproof containers.
If you evacuate before the storm:
Inform family member/friend/neighbor of evacuation plan and destination.
Inform Security that you are evacuating and leave your contact information with them.
Take disaster supply kit with adequate blankets and clothing.
Turn off water at main valve; turn off propane tank.
Unplug appliances except refrigerator/freezer. Turn refrigerator/freezer settings to coldest. Drain water line and empty ice trays.
Make arrangements for pets - they are not allowed at most shelters. You must not abandon pets. Carry a copy of your pet’s most recent health records.
Leave early enough to avoid traffic jams.
If you do not evacuate:
Inform Security that you intend to ride-it-out.
Listen for tornado warning advisories and take cover when indicated.
Remain indoors away from windows until the storm is over.
Do not use open flames such as candles.
Stay away from and report any downed power lines.
Watch for displaced animals such as snakes and rodents.
When winter storms are announced:
Be prepared, see above.
Stay away from downed power lines after the storm.
Do not drive. There is often a sheet of ice under the snow.
In the event of a major forest fire blocking Broad Creek Road: Stay in your home and listen to public communications.
With any disaster, be prepared to be self-reliant for several days while recovery crews restore power and other services.
SOME RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR DISASTER SUPPLY KIT
Be ready to evacuate - Assemble enough supplies to last at least 3 days and up to 7 days.
Have emergency supplies packed and ready in one place before disaster hits. Store supplies in an easy to carry container such as a backpack or duffel bag with ID tag.
Label any equipment, such as wheelchair, cane or walker that you will need.
For Medical Needs
First Aid Kit
Prescription and 0TC meds, insulin and oxygen; list of meds with dosage; list of allergies
Extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aid batteries, denture needs
Medical equipment or devices, supplies and extra batteries
List of style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers
Medical insurance cards and Medicare or Medicaid cards
List of doctors and relative or friend to be notified if you are injured
Other items you need
General Emergency Supplies
Battery operated radio or TV, flashlight and extra batteries for each
Change of clothing; sturdy shoes, rain gear or other protective clothing
Blankets or sleeping bag, pillows
Mess kits, or disposable plates, cups and plastic utensils
Extra set of keys
Cash, credit cards, cell phone, electronic device with AC and DC chargers
Personal hygiene and feminine supplies, soap, liquid detergent, toilet paper
Phone numbers of local and non-local family and friends
Insurance agent's name and number
Proof of residency - Property Tax Notice or Lease (Driver's license is not sufficient.)
Other items you need
Water—1 gal/person/day for at least 3 days. Store in unbreakable containers such as soft drink bottles. Identify storage date and replace every 6 months. Extra is necessary if you choose to provision with dehydrated food. Additional water is needed for pets.
Non-perishable Food—including any special foods you require. Choose foods that are easy to carry, nutritious and ready-to eat, rotate regularly. Be sure to include a manual can opener and utility knife.
For baby—formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications
Entertainment—games, books, small toys
Important family documents—keep in waterproof, portable container. Include copies of insurance policies, bank account and credit card numbers, social security cards, immunization records, passports. (Originals secured elsewhere)
Disaster Communications at Fairfield Harbour
When the sustained winds exceed 60 mph, no fire, rescue, or security personnel are authorized to venture out in vehicles. Therefore, you may have to use the nearest ham radio operator to relay your urgent messages. If you have a Family Radio Service (FRS) unit, call on channel 13 for an amateur radio relay. The range of a FRS radio is limited to less than 2 miles so you may have to relay through another FRS station to reach an operating ham.
If you have a scanner, you can tune in 145.230 MHz, which is the Grantsboro repeater, to listen to the net which will be activated when any disaster or hurricane warning is issued by the National Weather Service. You may also listen to 14.325 MHz USB during a hurricane to listen to weather reports forwarded to the National Hurricane Center from Fairfield Harbour.
Amateur Radio Operators
The following is a list of Amateur Radio Operators who may be able to help you with urgent communications if land-line phones, cell phones and internet are not functioning after a storm. Addresses for these operators can be found in your phone book:
Azersky, Ralph AC2GR
Azersky, James KC2YHS
Ellis, Bud KI4TVS
Frantz, Don N4APX
Goodwin, Dick K4JJW
Imperatore, Bill KC8GKI
Jarvis, Bill KI4EQD
McDougall, Michael KM4LVZ
Neilson, Bill KM4KCU
Skrotsky, Rob KF6YDV
Skrotsky, Chris KF6YDW
Internet Emergency Resources
The following are some internet addresses you may find helpful:
FIRE, MEDICAL AND POLICE EMERGENCIES: DIAL 911
Sherriff’s Office Non Emergency 252-636-6620