Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurricane Preparation Guidelines

Update 10/30/12: Maryland was very fortunate with the storm track and the power has stayed on in our neighborhood so far. Please be careful once travel restrictions are lifted, as there may be traffic signals out, localized flooding, and trees toppling in the rain-soaked ground.

We could be fortunate enough to have Hurricane Sandy pass us by, but even moderately strong winds and heavy rains could cause some damage.

We have received some guidelines from both of our management companies (Autumn Walk and Emerson), to include emergency numbers.

See below for detailed checklists, but in particular:
  1. Please bring in or tie down loose objects and furniture outside to prevent them from becoming projectiles; 
  2. Make sure that you have water and necessities in case we lose power; and 
  3. Fill the gas tanks of your cars.
And if you observe damage after the storm such as downed trees or electrical wires, or overflowing storm drains, please let us know.

We hope everyone will come through safe and sound next week!

P.S.: We have heard some conflicting information about propane grills. If you decide to bring the grill in, you should keep the propane tank outside for safety reasons.

Please read on for detailed information:

From Autumn Walk's Community Manager:
  • Any exterior furniture or potential projectiles should be moved inside or secured - think flags, potted plants, grills, plastic storage boxes, garbage cans etc.  
  • Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned out so water can flow away from the structure. 
  • To help prevent flooding, keeping drainage areas free of leaves is very important. I would recommend that if you are going to rake leaves this weekend that they are quickly bagged, so that piles of leaves are not blown into drainage areas. 
  • Make note of any trees in or around your property and trim any dead branches if possible

If anything appears to be a life threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1.

CAS, Inc. plans on being open whenever possible during business hours this week; more specifically after Tuesday (Wed-Fri). However, only key personnel will be expected at work during the actual hours of the storm.

We request that any non-storm related items be held until the storm passes so we may keep our phone lines open to handle emergencies. If the office does end up closing for safety reasons, Management has an emergency answering service whose number is 1-888-788-2678.

I expect the service may be overwhelmed with calls so it may be advisable to call my cell phone directly. I will be on call during the storm.

Please remember that the most important thing over the next 48 hours is SAFETY. So please, as I am sure you are hearing repeatedly, do not go out if you do not have to.

CAS will be as necessary here to help all communities get back to "normal" once this is over.

From Emerson's Community Manager:

The CMC Corporate Office and all On-Site Offices will be closed on, Monday, October 29th. Due to the Governor calling for a State of Emergency and asking that people stay off the roads as much as possible, CMC has decided to err on the side of caution.

  • BGE: 410.685.0123
  • Water/Sewer: Howard County - 410.313.2929
  • CMC (Emerson) emergency number: 301.446.2635
  • CAS (Autumn Walk) emergency number: 888-788-2678

Hurricane Response and Preparation Guidelines:
  • FEMA Disaster Help link: 1.800.621.FEMA
  • American Red Cross Shelters: 1.866.GET.INFO (438.4636)
  • U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, Mental Health Services Administration: 1.800.273.8255
  • Insurance Policies retained with all important papers in case of the need to evacuate
  • Make sure your vehicles have full gas tanks.
  • If you have to leave a vehicle behind, make sure it is not in a low lying area prone to flooding.
  • Top off or fill fuel tanks for outdoor grills in case they become your primary cooking appliance.
  • Stake small trees, shrubs and garden plants that could break in strong wind.
  • Any home ornamentation such as flags, wreaths or wind chimes should be stowed away.
  • Bring in any lawn furniture or grills.
  • Portable basketball backboards should be wheeled into the garage or laid down and firmly staked to the ground.
  • Make sure pool covers are secure.
  • Check to see that storage building doors are closed and secure.
  • Secure shutters on windows and doors.
  • Trim dead or weak branches from trees and clear similar debris from the ground around your home.
When a storm threatens:
  • Make sure you have a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries; a flashlight, candles or lamps; matches, a first-aid kit, canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration; several days' supply of drinking water (1 gallon per person per day) and a full tank of gas in your car.
  • Pack protective clothing, rainwear and bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Assemble an adequate supply of essential medicines, particularly prescriptions. 
  • Go to the bank for cash. Carry credit cards or make sure they are in a safe place.
  • Plan ahead for a place or places to take shelter if an evacuation is ordered. Have a map handy.
  • Pets may not be allowed in shelters for health or space reasons. Contact the local humane society for information on animal shelters.
  • Children and the elderly have special needs. Gather whatever is necessary and make it portable.
  • Teach family members how and when to turn off natural gas, electricity and water. (Professionals will have to turn them back on.) 
  • Teach children how and when to call 911, police or fire departments and which radio stations to tune to for emergency information.
  • Develop a plan in case family members are separated and a plan for reuniting.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative to serve as a family contact. After a hurricane, it is often easier to call long distance than locally. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
  • Watch television, listen to the radio or check the Internet for hurricane position, intensity and expected landfall.
  • Put important papers in waterproof containers (take them along upon evacuating) and move all valuables to higher levels in the home.

Hurricane Disaster Supply Kit
Check Off

1 gallon per day per person
Enough to last 3 to 7 days

Enough per person
Non-perishable foods only – dry or canned. Enough to last 3 to 7 days

Manual Can Opener

Paper plates


First Aid Kit
Antiseptic, assortment of bandages, pain reducer such as ibuprofen, tweezers, safety pins, latex gloves

2 week supply
Prescription and Other Drugs

Toiletries/Hygiene Items
Water free hand cleaner or towlettes

Sleeping bags, pillows, blankets

Seasonal Clothing
Rain gear, water proof work boots and gloves

Enough for 3 – 7 days for all devices

At least 2
Have at least one back up flashlight

Battery powered

Banks and ATMS may not be open or accessible


Toys, Games, Books
Children as well as adults need a way to pass the time without electricity

Important Documents
Store important documents in a water tight pouch or container. Remember insurance papers, social security numbers, medical records, credit cards and bank account information, proof of residence (drivers license, e.g.)

Pet Supplies
Leash, food, kennel, medication, bowls

Battery powered or wind up

For clean up and repair after the storm; hammer, utility knife, screwdrivers, shovel, crow bar, pliers

Duct Tape
Quick repairs and instant waterproofing

Common Nails
Quick repairs

Plastic Sheeting or Tarps
To cover holes and minimize water damage

Contact Information
Phone numbers and email addresses for those you need to contact post storm

Mosquito Repellent
Include citronella candles

Plastic Trash Bags





Wooden Matches

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