The North Coast has been very privileged in regards to hurricanes. Yet, it is very important to plan ahead in every case. In the Atlantic, the hurricane season runs between June 1st to November 30th. That is why we bring you a list of 20 things that you should take into account in case of experiencing a hurricane. Being prepared is the key to staying safe.
BEFORE THE HURRICANE:
- Keep yourself posted with the different information channels about the hurricane trajectory. If you wish to get more information about any hurricane, visit the following website: http://onamet.gob.do/index.php/pronostico/informe-del-tiempo
- Find out: If your city is under red, yellow, or green alert. The agency responsible for these alerts is The Emergency Operations Center (COE). To find out about any alerts, please access the following website: http://www.coe.gob.do/index.php
- Take action: If your city is under any alert, make sure to take the necessary measures to ensure your safety. The worst mistake you can make is not paying attention until you are on red alert. Remember that a green alert can turn into a red alert, so all alerts are important.
- Take the advice of local authorities: Evacuate if ordered. Your priority should be YOUR SAFETY. You can evacuate to a shelter or to a family or friend’s home.
- If you are staying home: Stock your supplies with a first aid kit, water, canned foods. Also add other supplies you may need if you evacuate or stay home during a storm.
- If you are evacuating: Prepare your house and yourself to leave. Unplug all your electric appliances. Before leaving your home, turn off gas to prevent leaks from occurring. Ensure your car is in good running condition and has a full tank of gas. Don’t forget an extra emergency supplies kit and a change of clothes.
- Secure your place: Whether you are leaving or staying home. If you have glass windows, close them very well, and secure them. Most people will put some cardboard boxes and duct tape across the windows. Keep important documents, in a storm-proof container in case of flooding. Lock any potted plants into an internal locked room. Remember that these could become dangerous projectiles.
- Have an emergency plan: Prepare for any type of situation, even if you have never had to go through it.
PREPARE YOUR PETS FOR THE HURRICANE
- As a general precaution, ensure your pets have up-to-date information on their collar.
DURING THE HURRICANE: (Stay calm and informed)
- Check the radio or television for weather updates.
- Stay away from all windows and exterior doors. Seek shelter in a bathroom or a room in your house with the least amount of windows.
- If there is flooding near your home, turn off the electricity at the main breaker.
WHAT NOT TO DO DURING THE HURRICANE:
Please avoid dangerous actions and stay safe:
- Do not handle electrical equipment and do not use the telephone except in an emergency.
- Do not go outside, even if the storm appears to have subsided. The calm or the “eye” of the storm can pass, leaving you outside when intense winds resume.
- Do not use candles during the storm, they could cause a fire. Stick with battery operated flashlights.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Six to twelve inches of water is all it takes to take you down or flood your car.
AFTER THE HURRICANE:
- Wait for the authority’s announcement indicating that it is safe to go out.
- If you are in a shelter or a friend’s house, go back home.
- When the electricity is back, do not start all major appliances at once. Turn them on to reduce damage to sensitive equipment.
- Avoid downed or damaged power lines, report them immediately to your electricity supplier.
Emergency Contact Numbers for Puerto Plata Province:
- National Emergency Assistance and Security System: 911
- Defensa Civil (Civil Defense): (809)-586-8001
- Rescate Ambar: (809)-291-8585
- Rescate Escorpiones: (809)-586-2312
- Ricardo Limardo Public Hospital: (809)-586-2210
- Bournigal Medical Center: (809)-586-9823
- Cruz Roja Dominicana (Dominican Red Cross): (809)-291-8558
- General Directorate of Traffic Safety and Land Transportation (DIGESETT): (809)-261-0496
- Specialized Tourist Security Corps (CESTUR): (809)-222-2026
- Policia Nacional (Nacional Police): (809)-320-8840
- Cuerpo de Bomberos (Fire Brigade): (809)-586-2312
- North Coast Air Base: (809)-586-0481
- Dominican Navy (North Coast): (809)-586-2576
- Emergency Operations Center (COE): (809)-472-0909
- National Meteorology Office (ONAMET): (809)-788-1122
- Road Safety (MOPC): (829)-688-1000