Tips for Families at Risk for Hurricane Sandy

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The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes® offers tips and resources for families preparing in advance of Hurricane Sandy. Resources include emergency plywood shutter installation, evacuation tips and items for hurricane emergency kits.

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Right now, families can follow the guidelines in our Protect Your Home in a FLASH toolkit to learn the correct ways to prepare for a hurricane. ~Leslie Chapman-Henderson, FLASH President and CEO

As Hurricane Sandy poses a potential threat to the Mid-Atlantic and the northeast, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) encourages families to take steps now to properly prepare themselves and their homes for severe conditions.

“As this storm approaches, families may be tempted to take out a roll of tape for the windows but taping offers no protection against tropical storm or hurricane damage,” says Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of FLASH. “Right now, families can follow the guidelines in our Protect Your Home in a FLASH toolkit to learn the correct ways to prepare for a hurricane.”

FLASH recommends these preparedness tips for families in the path of Hurricane Sandy:

Protect Your Home

  •     If you have hurricane shutters now is the time to install them. Make sure your shutters are working properly and fit securely to ensure proper protection.
  •     If you don’t have shutters, install plywood, emergency shutters. Click here for instructions for proper measuring and installation. Never use tape on windows as hurricane protection
  •     Secure or relocate items outside the house that can blow around. Don’t forget about trash cans, grills, toys and potted plants. Also, take time to look for any dead tree limbs and remove them carefully if you have time
  •     Have an evacuation plan for your home. Before you leave be sure to:

o    Turn off the water, gas and electricity;
o    Leave a note that you have left and where you are going;
o    Be sure to lock your home.

Prepare Your Family

  •     Review your family emergency plan. Be sure to review and update any evacuation plans
  •     Ensure your family emergency kit is complete. Your kit should include, at a minimum:

o    Enough food and water for all members of the family, including pets, to last at least 72 hours
o    Extra cash on hand since an extended power outage may prevent you from withdrawing money from automatic teller machines or banks
o    A battery powered, NOAA weather radio
o    First aid kit and toiletries
o    Flashlights and extra batteries
o    Blankets, pillows, extra clothes, toys and games to keep the family comfortable and occupied
o    Special needs items for babies, family members with special medical needs and pets

  •     Fill your gas tank; gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps
  •     Gather and store important paperwork like insurance papers, mortgage documents, marriage certificates, etc. in waterproof containers

If the Power Goes Out

  •     Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated areas
  •     Connect only individual appliances to portable generators
  •     Don't plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home's electrical system - as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger
  •     When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary, "surges" or "spikes" that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace
  •     When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand

For more hurricane preparedness tips, visit or call 877.221.SAFE.
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council®, Kohler Power Systems, National Weather Service, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm®, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting or calling (877) 221-SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are always well protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.

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Trenise Lyons
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