As Hurricane Earl Hits East Coast, Residents Urged to
FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- As Hurricane Earl roared up
the U.S. east coast Friday, federal officials urged residents to
take steps to protect themselves and their property.
The storm, which had weakened from a category 4 to a category 1
hurricane, raced past North Carolina's Outer Banks, a fragile chain
of barrier islands, early Friday morning, and was expected to hit
Massachusetts' Cape Cod later in the day.
But people should know that storm tracks can change quickly and
unexpectedly, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials
All residents should take measures to be prepared and ensure
their safety, advised FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. Steps
include putting together an emergency kit with 72 hours worth of
food and water, developing a family communications plan, and
listening to the radio or TV for information about risks and
Among other federal government recommendations if the hurricane
is likely to strike your area:
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning
and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers
- Close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them
indoors. If you don't have shutters, board up windows with 5/8-inch
marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Putting tape on
windows does not prevent them from breaking.
- To reduce roof damage, install straps or additional clips to
securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
- Clear clogged rain gutters so they won't overflow.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- If you have a boat, moor it.
- Turn off utilities if told to do so. Otherwise, set the
refrigerator thermostat to its coldest level and keep its door(s)
People should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are told to do so by local authorities. Follow their
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure.
- If you live in a high-rise building. Hurricane winds are
stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on
an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do
not have a safe room, you should:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and keep away from windows
and glass doors.
- Secure and brace external doors and close all interior
- Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the
lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy
- Don't be fooled if there is a lull in the hurricane. It could
be the eye of the storm, which will be followed by a resumption of
The U.S. government's Ready America Web site has more about
staying safe during a hurricane.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.