East Coast Urged to Prepare as Hurricane Irene
-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Federal officials on
Thursday continued to urge residents of the U.S. East Coast to make
emergency preparations for Hurricane Irene, a "category 3" storm
with winds up to 115 miles per hour.
The current forecast places the center of Irene just off the
North Carolina/Virginia coast on Saturday and over New England by
Monday morning, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.
Federal officials say Irene could cause flooding and power
outages as far north as Maine.
All residents should take steps to be prepared and ensure their
safety, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.
Steps include putting together an emergency kit with 72 hours'
worth of food and water, developing a family communications plan,
and listening to the radio or TV for information about risks and
Among other federal government recommendations if the hurricane
is likely to strike your area:
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning
and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers
- Close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them
indoors. If you don't have shutters, board up windows with 5/8-inch
marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Putting tape on
windows does not prevent them from breaking.
- To reduce roof damage, install straps or additional clips to
securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
- Clear clogged rain gutters so they won't overflow.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- If you have a boat, moor it.
- Turn off utilities if told to do so. Otherwise, set the
refrigerator thermostat to its coldest level and keep its door(s)
People should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are told to do so by local authorities. Follow their
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure.
- If you live in a high-rise building. Hurricane winds are
stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on
an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do
not have a safe room, you should:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and keep away from windows
and glass doors.
- Secure and brace external doors and close all interior
- Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the
lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy
- Don't be fooled if there is a lull in the hurricane. It could
be the eye of the storm, which will be followed by a resumption of
The U.S. government's Ready America website has more about
staying safe during a hurricane.
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The information in this article, including reference materials, are provided to you solely for educational or research purposes. Information in reference materials, are not and should not be considered professional health care advice upon which you should rely. Health care information changes rapidly and consequently, information in this article may be out of date. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.