While the northeast is not prone to the constant threat of hurricanes or earthquakes, they are possible and do occur. Also, almost every year, this part of the country is threatened with natural disasters either in the form of inclement winter weather or the occasional flood.
Whether the emergency is natural or manmade, it is prudent for a community to be prepared. The Department of Homeland Security has put together a list of suggestions for building your own Emergency Supply Kit. Click on the preceding link to see what's recommended.
At some point during the winter residents of this district may be faced with severe winter weather. Weather can include freezing rain, subzero temperatures, and blizzard conditions accompanied by strong winds and heavy snow. Of primary concern is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power, or communications lines to your home or office, for an extended amount of time. The following are steps you can take to help prepare you for extended winter weather:
Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
Thoroughly check and update your family's Emergency Supply Kit before winter approaches.
Include adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
If you have a car, keep the gas tank filled in case you have to leave.
Plan to stay inside and make it on your own, at least for a period of time.
If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed of winter weather watches and warnings.
While flooding events are not as common in the northeast as they are in other parts of the country, they do occur none-the-less. Be prepared for flooding no matter where you live, but particularly if you are in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even a very small stream or dry creek bed can overflow and create flooding. Here are some things you can do to prevent damage before a flood occurs:
Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
Get a kit of emergency supplies and prepare a portable kit in case you have to evacuate.
If you have a car, keep at least a half tank of gas in it at all times in case you need to evacuate.
After a flood occurs:
Do not walk through moving water, if possible. Look for areas where the water is not moving. What might seem like a small amount of moving water can easily knock you down.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If your vehicle becomes surrounded by rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground, if possible.
Click here for information on cleanup after the flood.
For more information on preparing for other natural or man made disasters visit the United States Department of Homeland Security's web site Ready.Gov
A hurricane is a giant tropical storm that originates in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It spirals counter clockwise and draws heat from the warm, moist southern atlantic ocean air. As it travels, it releases the heat and moisture in the form of condensation through thunderstorms. These thunderstorms bring very high winds and heavy torrential rains that in some cases can also spawn tornadoes. Many times, the torrential rains cause further damage in the form of floods and landslides.
Preparing for a hurricane is very much like preparing for any other natural disaster, with the following added precautions:
See FEMA's "How To" guides for protecting your property high wind, And because hurricanes can cause flooding follow the guidance in the section above for flooding.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes in order to begin getting your home, your community, and your life back to normal.