Your Guide to Hurricane Preparedness
With hurricane season already here, it’s essential to be prepared for potential storms that may impact our region. At Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB), we value the safety and well-being of our customers, and we want to ensure that you have all the necessary information to weather any storm that comes our way.
Have a Plan
When it comes to hurricanes, having a well-thought-out plan is the first line of defense for you and your loved ones. Creating a hurricane preparedness plan ensures that everyone in your household knows what to do in case of an emergency. Here are some key steps to consider:
Stay informed: Keep an eye on local weather updates from reliable sources like the National Weather Service. Familiarize yourself with the different storm categories and the associated risks they pose.
Create an emergency kit: Don’t wait for the storm. Build up your supplies in advance. Include essentials such as non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, and medications. Don’t forget to include items for your pets!
Establish a communication plan: Designate a family member or friend outside the area as a point of contact. Ensure that everyone knows how to reach this person to provide updates on your location and well-being.
Secure your home: Prepare your property by trimming trees, securing loose items and reinforcing your doors and windows. Consider investing in storm shutters or plywood to protect against high winds.
Know your evacuation routes: Familiarize yourself with the evacuation routes in your area. Plan ahead and identify potential shelters where you and your family can seek refuge if necessary.
Building up Your Supplies
In the event of a hurricane, it’s crucial to have essential supplies readily available. By stocking up early, you can avoid last-minute rushes to the store, ensuring that you have everything you need. Here are some tips for building up your supplies:
Water: Ensure you have enough water for your family. Aim for at least one gallon of water per person per day, keeping a minimum of a three-day supply on hand. Remember to account for the needs of your pets as well.
Food: Stock up on non-perishable food items such as canned goods, granola bars, and dried fruits. Include a manual can opener in your emergency kit.
Medications and first aid kit: Ensure you have an ample supply of any necessary prescription medications. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit with bandages, antiseptics and other essential medications.
Light and power: Have fresh batteries at hand that fit your devices like flashlights and portable radios. Consider having a portable power bank or generator to keep essential devices charged. Stock up on gasoline for your vehicles and/or generators. It’s best to store gasoline in a galvanized steel container or “Safety Can” which can prevent ignition or explosion in the event of a fire. Never run a generator inside your home.
Personal hygiene and comfort: Include items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, diapers and extra clothing in your emergency kit. A small toolkit and duct tape may also come in handy.
Prepare Your Home
Taking steps to protect your home can make a significant difference during a hurricane. Here are a few things you can do around the house to minimize potential damage:
Secure outdoor items: Bring in or secure outdoor furniture, potted plants or garden decorations that could become hazardous projectiles in high winds.
Trim trees and shrubs: Regularly maintain your landscaping by trimming branches and removing dead or weak trees. This reduces the risk of falling debris during a storm.
Check your gutters: Ensure that your gutters are clear of debris to prevent blockages and potential water damage.
Inspect your roof: Keep an eye out for loose or damaged shingles. Repair any issues promptly to prevent water leaks.
Reinforce doors and windows: Consider installing storm shutters or plywood to protect your windows from high winds. Hurricane clips are a great alternative to secure plywood to your windows without the need to drill into your home.
At BPUB, we understand the importance of hurricane preparedness and the impact it can have on our daily lives. By taking these precautions, you’re not only ensuring your own safety but also contributing to the resilience of our entire community.
Remember, when a storm is approaching, BPUB will do its best to keep essential services like electricity, water, and wastewater operational. In case of an outage or emergency, contact our customer service department at 956-983-6100 or report at https://assist.brownsville-pub.com.