Staying Prepared In Sussex Co. During The ’22 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Do you have a disaster kit?

Do you know where to go in the event of an approaching hurricane or other emergency?

The Sussex County Emergency Operations Center reminds us to take steps now to protect ourselves in the future.

“From health emergencies to hurricanes, a disaster can come from any direction at any time,” Sussex County EOC Director Joseph Thomas said. “While we can’t stop them, we can plan for them. So, take the time now, before the storm, to be ready. That ounce of prevention will be worth far more than a pound of cure later on.”

In 2021, Sussex County’s only brush with tropical weather occurred as Tropical Storm Elsa movedthrough the region in early July. Overall, it was the 3rd-most active season on record with 21 named storms, including seven hurricanes, four of which were major. This year, NOAA predicts an above-average season again.

More advice from the Sussex County EOC:

➢ If you live in a flood-prone or other vulnerable area, be prepared to evacuate. Plan your evacuation route now. Emergency managers will notify the public, via the media, of what areas should evacuate and when. In the event you evacuate, take a storm kit. Take valuable and/or important papers. Secure your house by locking the windows and doors. Turn off all utilities (gas, water, electric, etc.). Notify a family
member or someone close to you outside the evacuation area of your destination.
➢ Secure all outdoor items. Property owners also will need to secure their boats. Area residents should clear rainspouts and gutters and trim any trees that may pose a problem during high winds.
➢ Have a family disaster kit. This kit should include the following items:

• A three-day supply of water. This should include at least one gallon of
water per person per day;
• Non-perishable foods and a manual can opener;
• A change of clothes and shoes for each person;
• Prescription medicines;
• A blanket or sleeping bag and pillow for each person;
• Personal hygiene items;
• A flashlight and extra batteries for each person;
• Special needs items, such as formula and diapers for infants, as well as
items needed for elderly or disabled family members;

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• A portable radio with extra batteries;
• Money. During power outages, ATMs will not work;
• Fuel. Gas pumps are also affected by power outages, so it is a good idea
to have fuel in advance.

➢ In the event of an approaching storm, travel during daylight hours. Do not wait until the last minute to make plans or to purchase gasoline and supplies. When a storm watch is issued, you should monitor the storm on the radio and television. An evacuation could take 24 to 36 hours prior to a storm’s onset.
➢ If ordered to evacuate and seek shelter elsewhere, follow the instructions of local emergency managers on where to go and when. Authorities will announce shelter locations in advance of their opening, which could include multiple sites to accommodate larger populations. Make provisions for your pets, as many shelters will not accept animals.
➢ If not ordered to evacuate and you decide to take shelter in your home, have your disaster kit ready. Keep your important papers with you or store them in the highest, safest place in your home, and in a waterproof container. Even if you seek shelter in place, you need to secure your home by locking the doors and windows. Turn off all utilities (gas, water, electric, etc.). Monitor the storm by portable radio to keep up with the latest information. Stay indoors. Try to stay in an inside room away from doors and windows.
➢ Use your phone sparingly. Make only essential calls and keep the calls brief. Report emergencies to 911. When reporting emergencies, identify yourself and your location, making sure to speak clearly and calmly. If you have a mobile telephone, make sure it is charged and ready to use at all times. Remember, however, that cell service may be interrupted during and after the storm.

One step residents can take ahead of hurricane season is to create a Safety Profile for their household with the free Smart911TM service to provide potentially critical, life-saving information up front to first responders. Profiles can contain as much or as little information as users want, including details about their properties, special medical conditions and family contacts.