Preparing for a healthy life after a hurricane
September 5, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 p.m. EDT
From CNN Correspondent Andrew Holtz
(CNN) -- Disaster experts stress the need to prepare for the
storm's aftermath, even while attention focuses on the fury
of Hurricane Fran.
Hurricane Fran made landfall on the North Carolina coast
Thursday night, causing damage, flooding and power outages.
The aftermath hazards of a storm can range from downed live
wires to possible gas leaks in damaged buildings
Disaster experts want residents in areas hit by major storms
to be prepared to live without electricity or clean running
water for at least two or three days.
The most important necessity to stock up on is water.
After a major storm passes by, residents of that area should
assume tap water is unfit to drink until officials say it is
safe. A bathtub can be used to store wash water while water
in a hot water heater may be clean enough to drink.
"The American Red Cross recommends that you have (a minimum
of) a gallon of water per family member in your households
per day," said Ann Sexton of the American Red Cross.
For a family of four that would mean a minimum of 12 gallons
During a power outage, food in a refrigerator won't last
"That can vary from refrigerator-to-refrigerator obviously...
if it's a good working refrigerator, 24 hours, if the freezer
and refrigerator stay shut," said Sexton.
Experts advise to keep plenty of canned food on hand, and
foods that need little or no cooking.
"After a disaster strikes, it can be very devastating and
very challenging. You're going to need a lot of strength and
energy, and the American Red Cross suggests you go for the
high protein items," Sexton said.
And people should remember to have a manual can opener,
batteries, flashlights and battery powered-radios.
The radio is essential to hear official word about the safety
of tap water, status of roads, electricity and gas.
Following a storm, attention often turns to the outdoors for
cleanup and rebuilding. Remember to have sunscreen and bug
repellent available, since the sun will eventually return and
insects thrive on rotting storm debris.
Defending against stress and boredom during power outages and
road closures are also key to maintaining mental health in
the trying days after the storm.
Games, magazines and coloring books are a few things that can
entertain family members.
"You want to make sure, if you've got those little ones, that
you have enough entertainment," said Sexton.
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