West Mifflin #3 Volunteer Fire Company

Hurricane Sandy Preparedness & Survival Tips


Monday, October 29, 2012 Here in the Pittsburgh area, we don’t see or experience Hurricanes… we usually get the outer bands of a storm, but never the actual hurricane.

And if you are reading about hurricane preparedness, and you are doing the ‘doomsday prepping’, we should note, that some of the preparedness sites that you have been reading are directed more towards residents who live in coastal areas… not hills, mountains, rivers… Burgh Residents, so-to-speak…

And while some are not anticipating too much of a problem from ‘Sandy’, we at #3 are expecting some minor issues.  

Here’s a short list of what you can do RIGHT NOW to prepare for Hurricane Sandy.

1. Secure down any loose property and outdoor objects or bring them indoors. Objects such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, toys, and even awnings can be broken and picked up by strong winds and potentially become a projectile that could harm someone or damage other property.

2. Keep articles in your basement elevated to avoid damage from even minor flooding.

3. Know the location of the main electric breaker panel, water main valve and gas main valve.

4. Keep a master list of all your important documents including tax returns, insurance policies, birth and marriage certificates, and your Will. Real estate dates and documents are also important and should be placed in a fireproof lock box in your house.

5. STAY OUT of low elevation areas.  DO NOT drive in to any flooded areas or roadways.

6. DO NOT TOUCH any wires that are down you must assume that they are energized!  If you are driving, and wires fall on your car… STAY IN YOUR CAR…  If the wires are energized and you get out and touch the ground, you could be seriously injured or killed!  Again… you must assume that they are energized

7. Check on your neighbors… young and old.

8. If the power goes out, and you are using a portable generator, BE SURE TO RUN THE PORTABLE GENERATOR OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME!  Make sure that the exhaust is facing away from your home, and also be mindful of your neighbors with the exhaust.  You don’t want to get carbon monoxide poisoning.

9. DO NOT Use your oven or stove for heating purposes


ADDITIONALLY, you should evacuate under these following conditions:

  • If you are directed by local authorities to do so. BE SURE TO FOLLOW THEIR INSTRUCTIONS!
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure — such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building — hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
  • If you feel that you are in danger.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, go to a safe room.
If you do not have a safe room, follow these guidelines:

  •   Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  •   Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.
  •   Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull – winds could pick up again.
  •   Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
  •   Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object. 
Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. For specific health, safety, and rebuilding guidelines regarding recovery, please see the FEMA Web site.

IF YOU NEED TO REPORT AN EMERGENCY IN WEST MIFFLIN, PLEASE DIAL 412-461-3125, it will dial directly to our dispatcher… OR DIAL 9-1-1!