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What to do before the arrival of the cyclonic season?

  • Preparing a family emergency plan before the start of the cyclone season is key to mitigate any risk.
  • Focused on decent housing, Hábitat Dominicana will give a series of tips so that families can prepare their homes for the cyclone season.

Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. – Habitat for Humanity Dominican Republic, as an organization focused on decent housing, offers Dominicans a series of tips so that families can prepare for the arrival of the cyclonic season. Today more than ever, the need for decent housing has become more evident as the adequate and fundamental refuge for families.

“Due to the current situation caused by COVID-19, there is high concern about the hurricane season that may possibly exacerbate the effects of the pandemic. Evacuations would be significantly hampered due to the fear of contracting the virus and the rules of social distancing would be broken by providing aid to areas affected by hurricanes, ”says Betsaida Santa, manager of Dominican Habitat Programs.

It is for this reason that the organization recommends making a family emergency plan before the start of the cyclone season. This should include everything from a first aid kit, stored drinking water and food that doesn’t have to be cooked, having a radio with batteries, lamps or candles on hand, and important documents or papers kept in a safe place.

To prepare for a hurricane:

1. Protect windows
2. Cut the branches of the trees next to your house, and cut down dead or weak trees on your property.
3. Review your emergency communication plan for your family. The answers about what to do?, where to go?, how to reconnect?, is information that all family members should know, especially children.

On the other hand, remember the items to have available in case of an emergency: hammers, screwdrivers, nails, screws, plastic sheeting, tape, blankets, to keep in dry places or in waterproof containers, garbage bags, openers, disposable plates, glasses and cutlery, in case there is water to wash, those for daily use.

And once a tropical storm or hurricane alert or warning is issued, you should do the following:

1. Alert all family members and neighbors
2. Make sure you get updated information on the situation
3. Identify if there is a danger in your environment that could put you or your family at risk
4. Secure emergency supplies, consider your family members with special needs, and determine if it is safe to stay at home.

During adverse weather, don’t attempt to carry out repair work, turn off the gas tap to prevent leaks and explosions, stay inside your home or shelter where you are, stay informed with official authorities and remain calm. In the event that your home has been damaged, protect your belongings and request help from the corresponding entities, have the emergency numbers at hand.

Share these recommendations with your family and neighbors and you can get other tips through our website habitatdominicana.org and on social networks @habitatdominicana

Habitat for Humanity Dominican Republic is preparing to support families during this pandemic with the delivery of hygiene kits and, subsequently, emergency kits for possible cyclones, storms or hurricanes. Get involved to find out how companies, individuals and others can collaborate.

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