At press time, Tropical Storm Isaac was tracking through the Caribbean and was forecast to make landfall anywhere from Miami on Monday to Louisiana on Wednesday. To track Isaac’s current position, click here.
It is important to take an active role in protecting yourself, your family and your property if you are in the path of a storm.
Before a storm:
- Know safe routes inland.
- Learn the location of official shelters.
- Make sure you have functioning emergency equipment, such as generators, flashlights and battery-powered radios.
- Store extra batteries, a first aid kit and a supply of drinking water.
- Inspect roofs for damage and make any necessary repairs.
- Obtain storm shutters or materials such as plywood and tarps for securing your property both before and after a storm.
- Obtain straps for anchoring outdoor equipment, signs and roof-mounted objects.
- Repair any damage to rain gutters and downspouts and keep them clear of debris.
- Gather vital company records and make plans to protect or relocate them.
- Regularly listen to local weather reports.
A storm watch means storm conditions are possible, usually within 36 hours. If you’re in a watch area:
- Frequently listen to local weather reports or a weather radio for official bulletins of the storm’s progress.
- Fuel vehicles in case it’s necessary to evacuate.
- Fuel generators in case you lose power.
A storm warning means storm conditions are expected, usually within 24 hours. When you’re in a warning area:
- Constantly monitor weather reports or a weather radio for official bulletins.
- Install storm shutters or plywood over windows and door openings.
- Move small, lightweight equipment inside.
- Strap down outdoor equipment, signs and roof-mounted objects.
- If you are on the coastline, an offshore island or near a river or flood plain, evacuate the area and take vital company records with you.
- Otherwise, follow instructions issued by local officials.
If instructed to evacuate, do so immediately!
- Use the predetermined safe routes inland.
- Leave early, during daylight if possible.
- Stay with friends or relatives, in a low-rise inland hotel or in an official shelter.
- Notify family members outside the warning area of your evacuation status.
If you are not instructed or are unable to evacuate:
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so by authorities.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug appliances.
- Fill large containers with water to be used for sanitary purposes.
- Brace the inside of external doors with furniture or equipment.
- Stay away from windows and doors, even if they are covered.
- Take refuge in a small, interior, first-floor room.
- Lie on the floor under a table or other sturdy object.
After the storm:
- Continue listening to weather reports or a weather radio.
- If you’ve evacuated, wait until the area is declared safe before returning.
- Do not ignore barricades; roads may be closed for your safety so find another route.
- Do not drive through flooded areas; vehicles can break down or be swept away.
- Stay on firm ground; even shallow moving water can sweep you off your feet and standing water. could be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Be aware of possible structural damage and collapse hazards.
- Use plywood and tarps to cover broken windows and roof damage.
- Check gas, water, electrical lines and appliances for damage.
- Use a flashlight rather than candles or other open flames.
- Do not drink tap water until you are sure it is safe to do so.
- Only use generators and other small engines in well-ventilated areas.
- As soon as practical, call your insurance company to report a claim.
For more information from the ARA Foundation on disaster preparedness, relief and recovery, go to ARArental.org/ARAFoundation/DisasterReliefandRecoveryPrograms.aspx.
For more safety and risk management information, customers of ARA Insurance can log on to ReSource. Access is free, so if you haven’t signed up yet, contact your agent or call 800-821-6580.