Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Alex was the first storm of the 2010 Hurricane Season and fortunately did not cause a great deal of damage. It is important to be prepared ahead of the arrival of a storm in anticipation of extreme weather conditions, flooding, and loss of power. By taking a few simple precautions, you can help ensure you and your loved ones make it safely through a disaster.

There are three steps that are critical to ensure you are fully prepared: Have a Plan, Make a Kit and Be Informed.


  • If you plan to stay in your home be sure to notify friends and relatives of your plans to stay.
  • Discuss your evacuation plans with your family, friends and relatives. Know contact information for your family members, friends and anyone else you may need to contact.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all of your family has a single point of contact.
  • Learn evacuation routes from your area and places to meet. Plan for traffic, so expect delays and longer drive times.
  • Learn places to stay between your home and your destination, just in case you have to stop or detour.
  • Make a checklist of what you need to do and make sure to review prior to the storms arrival.
  • Make plans for what you are going to do with your pets and livestock.
  • If you have a car, keep at least a half tank of gas at all times.
  • Make sure to properly prepare your home or business. Protect windows and doors, bring any outdoor objects inside and turn off utilities if instructed.
  • Locate a safe room, or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard (storm surge, flooding and wind). In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but another location in your community.
  • Check your insurance coverage – flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.


  • Have enough supplies to last for 3-7 days.
  • Water – one gallon daily per person.
  • Pack non-perishable packaged or canned foods, juices, food for infants, snacks,
    cooking tools, fuel, non-electric can opener and any food for pets. Have a supply of paper plates, cups and plastic utensils.

  • Medications, personal hygiene items, toilet paper, cleanup supplies, etc.
  • Keep fully charged cell phones with chargers and extra batteries.
  • Make sure to have a battery operated radio and flashlight with extra batteries. You
    may want to invest in an electric generator.

  • Have extra clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes, blankets, pillows and sleeping bags.
  • Toys, books and games.
  • Keep any important documents in a waterproof container or water-tight resealable
    plastic bag, including photo IDs, driver license, Social Security card, proof of residence, bank account information, and any insurance papers you may need to process insurance claims.

  • Have cash, including small bills and credit cards – Banks and ATM’s may not be
    available for an extended time.


  • Be familiar with any hurricane terms. A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area. A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected in your area.
  • Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential. Category three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes. Category one and two are dangerous but not as destructive.
  • Be aware of possible flooding. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall. Flooding on rivers and streams may persist for several days or more after the storm.
  • Learn about the emergency plans established in your area by your state and local government. Listen to any instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Following the steps listed above will ensure that you are best prepared to deal with the immediate effects of a Hurricane.


Long-Term Commitment to Rebuilding Communities Continues with Hurricane Season Underway

Alexandria, VA:– The Salvation Army will complete the construction of 600 housing shelters through the Transitional Shelter Program in Jacmel, Haiti this week, to assist in relocating earthquake-displaced Haitians back to their home communities. Over the past six months The Salvation Army has transitioned from providing for immediate needs, including temporary shelter, food, water and medical attention to providing long-term recovery services to help return survivors to a level of normalcy in their lives. The long-term rebuilding process has employed more than 400 Haitians as carpenters and construction crew-members to assist in reconstruction efforts.

“The level of care and steps taken to rebuild Haiti has been astonishing, with this transitional housing project highlighting the significant strides everyone has made over the past six months,” said Lt. Colonel Dan Starrett Executive Director of The Salvation Army World Service Office. “Housing shelters have been built in some of the most heavily impacted areas in Haiti, including Jacmel, Bainet, Lilette and Bellami. The Salvation Army has had a major presence in Haiti since the 1950s and we’ll continue to provide earthquake relief services for as long as the need is there.”

Haitian officials and residents worked closely with The Salvation Army to plan and manage the transitional housing shelters project which allowed for a quick design and building process. Through both volunteerism and temporary employment by The Salvation Army, residents of Haiti have been directly involved in the reconstruction of their communities. The Salvation Army provided technical specialists as needed for the project and Haitian teams were trained by The Salvation Army’s transitional housing team. Others were hired to clear land for the construction of the homes. In all, more than 400 Haitians, comprising at least 45 construction teams, were trained to supervise and build 600 homes.

With what is expected to be an intense hurricane season already underway, the shelters were designed to withstand strong winds and periodic rain storms. Development plans for the shelters incorporated designs for the proper drainage of water and prevention measures for waterborne illnesses during the flooding that is likely to occur this season. The shelters, standing 10 X 20 ft, are designed to last one to three- years. Overall, approximately 3,000 individuals will be receiving a new home – at an average of five per household.

“For the safety and well-being of the thousands of Haitians who have been displaced, it was critical that we constructed these homes as quickly and strongly as possible with the hurricane season here,” said Lt. Colonel Starrett. “The ultimate goal of our emergency service in Haiti is to provide the resources for the community to return to self sufficiency at a level that exceeds conditions before the earthquake. These homes are the first steps of many in that direction.”

Following the construction of the 600 shelters in Jacmel, which began on June 5, The Salvation Army will work with government officials in Haiti to plan the second phase of development for an additional 500 homes in Jacmel and another 1,000-1,500 homes in Petit-Goâve, which felt a strong 5.9 magnitude aftershock on January 20. The quake’s epicenter was almost directly under Petit-Goâve, severely damaging the city. Each home will take one day to complete, with each costing approximately $1,800. Like in Jacmel, the homes will be built on existing home sites. Individuals and families who have lost their homes due to the earthquake must own the property on which their new home will be built in order to obtain a shelter. Families are helped first, followed by single women with children and other vulnerable populations.

The Salvation Army set up a Haiti relief fund and is accepting monetary donations. Donors may contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word “HAITI” to 52000, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.” Donors can also give via, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and through the mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728 with designation “Haiti Earthquake.” To date, more than $20.5 million has been donated to The Salvation Army to assist in the development of the housing units, provide 5.4 million meals, as well as other immediate and long-term recovery services in Haiti. Through the shelter campaign, The Salvation Army will continue will provide over 4400 shelters in the next 6-12 months in Jacmel, Petit-Goâve and Port -au-Prince.

Prior to the earthquake, The Salvation Army in Haiti operated schools, clinics, a hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities through some 60 Corps community centers across the country. One Salvation Army facility in Port-au-Prince includes a home for more than 50 children; a school with a daily attendance of 1,500 children; a medical clinic caring for 150-200 people daily; and a church that on any typical Sunday welcomes nearly 1,000 people.

Since January 12, The Salvation Army, along with the United Nations, local governments, and nongovernmental organizations has cared for the 20,000 individuals who have been displaced from their homes, living at a soccer field adjacent to a Salvation Army facility in Port-au-Prince. To establish a safe environment, a Camp Security force has been formed made up of 45 Haitian members from the camp itself. The team has been trained in security techniques by The Salvation Army and the United Nations. Medical care and nutritional services are also being provided to meet the needs of all individuals at the camp; including water purification units that supply 20,000 – 30,000 gallons of purified water or 4.2 million gallons of water daily.