START THE SEASON PREPARED
Since we live in a coastal area you should plan a flood-free evacuation route and safe evacuation routes to shelter. Prior to hurricane season, check to see that you have an adequate supply of non-perishable food, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries and candles.
ADVISORIES, WARNINGS & DEFINITIONS
Thanks to modern detection and tracking devices, the National Weather Service can usually provide 24 to 48 hours of advance warning. Advisories are issued by the Service when hurricanes approach land.
A HURRICANE WATCH is issued whenever a hurricane becomes a threat to coastal areas.
A HURRICANE WARNING is issued when hurricane winds of 74 miles an hour or higher, or a combination of dangerously high water and very rough seas, are expected in a specific coastal area within 24 hours. Precautionary actions should begin immediately.
BE AWARE that some areas may flood long before the arrival of the storm. Your escape may be further complicated by the fact that the density of our nearby communities makes it nearly impossible for the few roads to accommodate everyone at the same time.
IF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY ADVISES EVACUATION OF YOUR AREA, DO SO IMMEDIATELY.
When a VOLUNTARY EVACUATION is issued, it is suggested that you seriously consider leaving even though there is no imminent danger. Evacuating at this time means there is less traffic on the roads.
A MANDATORY EVACUATION may be issued by the Mayor approximately 12-24 hours before gale force winds are expected. Residents should leave St. James at that time or it may be unsafe to travel later and roads and bridges may be flooded. Those who remain may be left stranded.
BEING PREPARED FOR THE HURRICANE
1. Check battery-powered equipment. Your battery-operated radio could be your only source of information. Flashlights will be needed if utility services are interrupted.
2. Keep your car fueled in the event an evacuation is ordered. Also, be aware that service stations may be inoperable after the storm strikes.
3. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils. Water supplies may become contaminated or damaged by the storm.
4. Board up windows or protect them with storm shutters or tape.
5. Secure all outdoor objects including propane tanks.
6. Moor boats securely or move to a designated safe area.
DURING THE HURRICANE
If you choose not to evacuate, remain indoors during the hurricane. Blowing debris can injure and kill. Be especially wary of the "eye" of the hurricane. If the storm center passes directly overhead, there will be a lull in the wind lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour or more. At the other side of the "eye", the winds will increase rapidly to hurricane force and will come from the opposite direction.
IF AN EVACUATION IS ORDERED
1. Listen to your local radio stations: WGNI-FM ·102.3; WHQR-FM 91.3; or WCCA-FM 106.3 for evacuation notification.
2. Call the St. James Emergency Recorded Line for evacuation information (253-0949).
3. Evacuees are reminded that the following items are not permitted in an emergency shelter; alcohol, non-prescription controlled substances, weapons, and animals. Provisions should be made in advance for pets.
AFTER THE HURRICANE HAS PASSED
1. Keep tuned to your local radio or television station or call the St. James Emergency Recorded Line (253-0949) for updated information.
2. Avoid loose or dangling wires and report them immediately by calling 911.
3. Stay out of disaster areas and do not drive unless you must.
4. Hurricanes moving inland can cause severe flooding. Stay away from waterways until potential flooding is past.
5. If power has been off, check refrigerated food for spoilage. Be suspicious of water that may have been contaminated.
6. When operating a portable stand-by generator, make sure it is not directly connected to your home wiring. Improperly connected generators can present severe hazards to workcrews and to your generator.
7. Make your plans and preparations for a hurricane emergency the subject of a family discussion. Share your family's plan with friends and relatives. Hurricane preparedness is a team effort for everyone in the neighborhood and communitv.
Page last modified 01/15/15