By Alex Lloyd Gross
If you are thinking the latest hurricane warnings are hyperbole or are taking them seriously, you should use common sense and not get caught with your pants down so to speak. A state of emergency is in effect for August 27 through August 29 for much of the region. The following can be used anytime, in the middle of winter for a snow storm to an earthquake.
That means certain restrictions. No driving unless it is essential . People that want to drive to get something to eat are going to be fined. That is not essential. Prior to the storm is when people need to be stocking up on food. Driving into your office to do paperwork or going to the movies is not essential. In fact, most theaters should be closed. Getting called into work at a power sub station or hospital is essential and those that are stopped by the police will not be fined. For a complete list of vehicles permitted on the roads please visitPEMA’S website.
Those that want to drive to document the storm for a facebook page do not qualify as journalists. Those that work for a legitimate outlet that gets credentialed do.
With that being said, it’s a safe bet many people will be inside. Hopefully, you have matches, candles, flashlights, food water, batteries and a portable radio . Commnication will be difficult. If phone service is down, cell phones will be harder to use, as they towers will be swamped.
For alternative means or communication, think outside the box. CB radios. if family is close by, walkie talkies. Those with a license can use ham radio. Many hams in entire families are hams and have equipment and frequencies needed tocommunicate with their families.
The rest are out in the cold so to speak. Computers and televisions will not work during a power outage. families can play board games, or read books together. That’s what people did 75 years ago when a telephone was a luxury. Cell phones were not even thought of.
If you are told to evacuate, do it. Do not wait. Do not call 911 when floodwaters are engulfing your basement and expect a swift response. You won’t get one. Once the dtorm has passed and you are allowed to drive, do not pass barricades unless told to do so by am emergency responder in uniform. Driving past cones or a barricade can get you arrested or killed. The road is closed for a reason. If power lines are down, the ground could be charged 50 feet away from the line. It’s not a good idea to be standing there.
Do not evacuate unless you are told to do so. Do not panic. Too many vehicles on a road only leads to confusion. Now is the best time to fill your gas tanks up. If the power goes out, the gas station will be closed, even after the state of emergency is lifted.
Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency, Many calls could be delayed. A broken window to your house is not an emergency. A heart attack is. Those motorists that get stranded when urged not to drive will not be too happy that emergency responders get called out to rescue them.
If you are thinking about boating on a river or creek after the storm, get that thought out of your head. Don’t laugh. Every storm, there is at least one idiot that ventures into the creek or river.
As for supplies, rechargable batteries are not reccomended if you do not have a way to charge them when they are drained. Keep regular alkaline ( not heavy duty) in your flashlight or radio. Do not open your regrigerator unless you know what you want and where it is, if the power goes out.