State offers hurricane safety tips

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· Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood, so you or your evacuation routes are not cut off. If you choose or are told to evacuate, move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.

· Monitor local radio / television broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio to learn of the storm’s progress and for information from emergency officials.

· Avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep your vehicle away.

· Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.

· After a flood, you should test drinking water for potability and wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.

· Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters. Wash canned goods that come in contact with floodwaters with soap and hot water.

· Stay away from downed power lines.

In Case of Power Outage

· Turn off major appliances to prevent damage from a possible surge when the power comes back on - keep one light turned on so you know when power returns.

· Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage.

· Check to see if your neighbors have power.

· Use only flashlights for emergency lighting -- candles pose the risk of fire.

· Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. When in doubt, throw it out!

· Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.

· In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.

· If you are in a tall building, take the stairs and move to the lowest level of the building.

· If trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance. Do not attempt to force the doors open. Remain patient - there is plenty of air and the interior of the elevator is designed for passenger safety.

· Remember to provide fresh, cool water for your pets.

· Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive during a blackout, remember to obey the 4-way stop rule at intersections with non-functioning traffic signals.

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