Emergency management officials continue to monitor the latest weather forecasts and hurricane tracks, as Hurricane Sandy makes its way northward toward the Delaware area. With most forecasts calling for the storm to arrive near Delaware over the weekend, now is the time to exercise awareness and storm preparation. Delaware Emergency Management Agency officials remind the public that advanced preparation is important. Follow storm updates on Twitter #SandyDe, #StormDE and #Sandy.
· Make sure to have flashlights (one per person), extra batteries and bulbs and battery operated lanterns. During periods of extended power outages, solar-powered landscape lights can be brought indoors at night to provide light, then placed back outside in daylight to re-charge.
· If the home has cordless phones, remember, they will not work if the electricity is off, so you should have a standby telephone - either a cell phone or a telephone with a cord that can be plugged in. A cell phone car charger can be used if power to the home is out for an extended period of time.
• Also, a portable radio and extra batteries are extremely important. A battery operated NOAA weather radio is also recommended.
· Include a first aid kit in your emergency supplies. The kit should at least contain bandages, aspirin or other pain relievers, gauze pads, first aid ointment, elastic bandage and tweezers.
· Have plenty of infant supplies on hand, including food, canned milk or formula, disposable diapers and other necessities.
· Stock up on food that does not require refrigeration or cooking, such as canned meats, vegetables, fruits, juices, dry cereals and powdered milk. Store enough supplies to last for at least three days. This means you should also have a manual can opener.
· Have food and water for pets and records of shots and medication.
· Make sure to have a supply of water, for both drinking and for sanitation purposes. Store water in plastic jugs or covered containers. Have one gallon per day per person of drinking water for those in your household. A pre-filled bathtub can provide water to refill toilet tanks.
· Check your prescription medications. If supplies are low, get refills before the storm arrives.
If you live in an area prone to flooding and you may be ordered to evacuate, plan your escape route early. Check the number of hours it could take you to evacuate to a safe area during peak evacuation traffic. Have emergency contact phone numbers for family and friends; exchange these numbers with those on your contact list. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be used to let many people know you have reached your destination safety. If you live near the seashore, plan to evacuate early.
If evacuating to a shelter, gather supplies that should be taken along. Take sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, personal toiletry items, and medications. If going to a shelter with children, remember to take along games, books and other items to occupy them. Baby supplies – diapers, wipes, baby food and other supplies should also be taken to a shelter. Consider in advance what will be done with pets in the event of an evacuation.
A complete inventory of personal property will help in obtaining insurance settlements and/or tax deductions for losses. Inventory checklists can be obtained from your insurance representative. Don’t trust your memory. List descriptions and take pictures. Store these and other important insurance papers in waterproof containers, electronically on a flash drive, or in a safety deposit box. If you evacuate, take insurance and property information with you. Proof of residency may be needed in order to reenter evacuated areas.
For severe weather information, go to dema.delaware.gov.