Hurricane Help and Checklist
Islands like Bermuda sometimes get hit by hurricanes and in some cases, the severity (measured by the hurricane category
) can be quite high. Such hurricanes can cause serious damages to property and people. In order to prepare well in advance and take all necessary safeguard measures, there are guidelines and checklist to help counter hurricane effects.
EMO Website (Emergency Measures Organization) in Bermuda operates under the Department of Communication & Information and provides frequent updates of current status. In collaboration with Government's Emergency Radio Station 100.1FM, they keep posting regular updates starting from the time when a hurricane is forecasted, during the hurricane period and post hurricane when the restoration is in progress. For example, they will post when the airport is closing out, whether the schools and any bridges or causeways have been closed out.
Similarly after the hurricane, they will post about when the schools, shops and restaurants at various places are reopening, whether the ferry and bus services have resumed, or power has been restored in places where there was a disruption and so on. EMO also provides the hurricane updates through the radio station FM 100.1 in Bermuda which is the government emergency broadcast station. Regular weather updates are provided by Bermuda Weather Services website as well.
Here are the important numbers that you may need at the time of emergency in Bermuda:
911: Ambulance, fire, police and marine rescue
955: For power outages. Do not call Belco or any power company during a storm.
295-5151: Works & Engineering
236-2345: King Edward VII Memorial Hospital
There is Government’s Emergency Assistance Organization (EAO) who can also be contacted for any emergency assistance after the storm has passed. Call EAO at 292-6325 or 292-6339, should you require emergency help after the storm.
Here is the checklist and hurricane help measures that EMO (Emergency Measures Organization) advises:
Collect and bring inside all the loose stuff that may be lying outdoors like garden furniture, plants on pots, barbecues etc. Two wheelers should be brought inside.
Put the window shutters in place. When the hurricane strikes, it is advisable that you keep one window shutter open by an inch in order to reduce pressure build up.
Remember that if the eye of the storm passes overhead, a strong wind in an opposite direction will return.
During the storm, unplug all electronic goods that do not have surge protections. Also pull out the transmission cable from the TV socket. Keep only one light switched on.
If you see there are torn out electrical wires or branches that have fallen on wires, do not touch them. They may be live and can be fatal.
If you use a generator, ensure that it has been properly earthed. Use it outdoor under a shade. Appliances should be directly plugged into the generator rather than putting the generator into the house lines.
Take gas for your vehicles and fill up the tanks in advance. However cooking gas cylinders should not be used.
In areas where there may be seawater contamination, any pipes coming from the roof or other places and leading to the water tank should be closed off.
In addition, both the EMO and Belco advise that you should stock up the following items:
Flashlights, candles and matches
Non-perishable foods, fresh water, powdered milk, toilet paper
Bleach to purify water (four drops per gallon)
Batteries, buckets, rope and wire
Battery-operated AM/FM radio, clock and fan
Portable stove and fuel, generator, chainsaw
Plastic sheets, tape, hammer, nails, garbage bags
Water jugs, plywood, tarpaulin, work gloves
Fire extinguisher, sand bucket, first aid kits
Coolers and ice packs
Household bleach to purify water (one drop per litre or four drops per gallon)