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Safety vital as hurricane season approaches

By Airman 1st Class Dillon Parker | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | May 16, 2018

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —

With hurricane season fast approaching, June 1 through Nov. 30, San Antonio residents need to be prepared for the dangers associated with the storms.

 

“San Antonio happens to be in a very unique spot as the aftermath from hurricanes that hit the coast usually end up here,” said Edward Meza, a 502nd Air Base Wing Safety Office occupational safety specialist. “Hurricane aftermath tends to be worse for flooding and thunderstorms, and we have a lot of low lying areas here.”

 

San Antonio residents in low-lying areas and flood plains need to keep sandbags on hand and be prepared to evacuate to protect themselves from flood damage if the threat of a hurricane is imminent, Meza added.

 

In addition to flooding, San Antonio can also experience many other threats from hurricanes.

 

“We may not get so much wind damage, but we can get damage from falling trees, hail, and lightning,” Meza said. “There’s a lot of stuff that can happen to homes and roadways here.”

 

Meza recommends stocking up on supplies such as food, water, flashlights and batteries, as well as a generator to be properly prepared for a hurricane.

 

“Supplies tend to become very scarce around here and a ton of folks usually evacuate from the coast to San Antonio,” Meza said.

 

The most important part of safety during a hurricane is proper preparation.

 

“You’ve got to practice the 5 Ps: Proper planning prevents poor performance,” Meza said.  “If you practice the 5 Ps, you’re already way ahead of the game.”

 

Ready.gov provides some crucial tips to help you prepare,

 

Basic preparedness tips:

 

  • Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate

  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate or are in a low-lying area, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

Preparing your home:

  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

  • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels. 

For more information visit ready.gov’s hurricane safety page at https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.