With storm season upon us, the Billingsley Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD) urges residents to be prepared for potential heavy rain, high winds, and even flooding. By taking proactive steps before the storm arrives, you can significantly improve your safety and minimize damage to your property and community.
Before the Storm:
- Assemble an Emergency Kit: Stock up on essentials like non-perishable food (enough for 3 days), bottled water, medications, flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, and a manual can opener. Don’t forget to include pet supplies!
- Secure Your Property: Bring in outdoor furniture, decorations, and other loose items that could become projectiles in high winds. Trim overhanging tree branches that could snap and cause damage.
- Fuel Up: Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas to avoid getting stranded during power outages.
- Plan Your Escape: Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and have a designated meeting place for your family in case you need to leave your home quickly.
- Stay Informed: Download the Billingsley Fire Department app and follow local news sources for weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Connect with Neighbors: Check on vulnerable individuals in your community who may need assistance during or after a storm.
During the Storm:
- Seek Shelter: Stay indoors, preferably in the lowest level of your home away from windows and doors. Close all blinds and shutters.
- Avoid Flooded Areas: Do not attempt to drive through flooded streets or standing water. It’s deeper than you think!
- Power Down: Unplug electronics and appliances to avoid damage from power surges.
- Never Use Generators Indoors: Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious risk. Operate generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Listen to Emergency Broadcasts: Stay informed about the latest weather conditions and follow instructions from emergency officials.
After the Storm:
- Proceed with Caution: Be aware of downed power lines and potential structural damage to your home and property. Don’t touch downed lines – call 911 immediately.
- Document Damage: Take photos and videos of any damage to your property for insurance purposes.
- Report Emergencies: If you see damaged electrical wires, gas leaks, or other hazards, report them to the appropriate authorities.
- Help Your Neighbors: Check on friends and neighbors who may require assistance, especially older adults or those with disabilities.
- Stay Connected: Follow updates from the BVFD and local officials for information on road closures, shelters, and recovery efforts.
Remember: Being prepared makes all the difference!