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Hurricane Survival Manual: Group III/Texas Wing
Civil Air Patrol

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Table of Contents/ Page 2


Part 2 - A Glossary of Common Terms
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It is important that a family be prepared to weather an on coming storm if evacuation is not an option. With that in mind a family must prepare for the worst. The following are a few items that one might choose to have with them during Hurricane season:

If the items cannot be rinsed off, place them in waterproof containers. Your supplies should last you two weeks.

  • Can Opener - manual.
  • Disposable cups, plates and utensils (saves on water).
  • Paper Towels and Baby Wipes
  • Ice
  • Gallon Zip-Lock Bags for making ice and waterproofing items.
  • Large Garbage Bags to collect refuse and waterproof items.
  • Cooking Facilities - Grill, charcoal and lighter fluid; gas grill and extra propane refills; fondue pot with sterno refills.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Food Supplies for at least seven days, preferably two weeks:
    • Canned goods & non-perishable foods that do not need refrigeration & cooking, such as:
      • canned meats & fish
      • baby formula & food
      • canned fruits & vegetables
      • bread, cookies & crackers
      • canned soups & puddings
      • peanut butter & jelly
      • canned fruit juices
      • coffee & tea
      • dried fruit
    • Other Foods: peanut butter, jelly, bouillon cubes, fresh fruit, bread, cereal, ice, crackers, chips, peanuts, cheese food, dried foods. Powered or canned beverages (coffee, powered milk with chocolate syrup, Pepsi, Koolaid, fruit juices). Bottled Water (one gallon/person for seven days).
  • Bleach for water purification (not the scented kind) or cleanup. Must not contain cleaning agents. Sodium Hypochlorite must be the only active ingredient.
  • Eyedropper for measuring bleach.
  • Tincture of Iodine (2%) for first aid kit and water purifying.
  • Soap in a plastic container.
  • Toiletries - one month supply: toilet paper, aspirin, antacid tablets, anti-diarrhea medicine, cough medicine, sun screen, Chapstick
  • Bug Repellant
  • Canned heat (sterno)
  • Pet Food and Cat Litter. Pet Carrier
  • Film for camcorder and camera.
  • Cash or Traveler's Checks.
  • Prescriptions refilled.
  • Needle and Thread
  • First Aid Kit and Manual: (3) rolls gauze adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), gauze pads (2 and 3 inch), adhesive tape, cotton swabs, moistened towelette packets, antiseptic ointment, tincture of iodine, hydrogen peroxide, burn ointment, rubbing alcohol, ammonia inhalants, scissors, needle, safety pins, thermometer, tweezers
  • Copy of homeowner's flood and auto policies and agent's telephone number. The originals should be in your safe deposit box. Fill car and fuel cans with gasoline.
  • Unleaded Gas and Mantles for Lantern.
  • Propane for gas grill. Refills cost $10-$20 and cooks a dozen meals. Extra tanks cost $25.
  • Fuel for generator or chain saw.
  • Batteries - Two sets for every item you plan to use. One alkaline battery will last for 24 hours with continuous use; regular zinc carbon batteries will only last 2 to 4 hours during continuous use. Regular batteries should be used for flashlights and other items which do not draw much power.
  • Non-electric clock
  • Portable Radio
  • Portable TV with extra batteries (battery consumption is high).
  • Flashlights with extra bulbs
  • Hurricane Lamps and oil
  • Caulking to seal drain on tub and sinks (silicone type for easy removal).
  • Latex Gloves
  • PineSol disinfectant for cleanup.
  • Fire Extinguisher (fully charged).
  • Duct Tape for securing broken windows and wide (2")
  • Masking Tape
  • Extra Shutter Fasteners and Bolts
  • Drill and Screwdriver Bits and Adaptor for Bolts for installing shutters.
  • 1/2" CDX Exterior Plywood and Hardware (1/4" machine screw anchors or lead shields, large deep lag bolts, roofing nails and tin tabs) for securing windows and patching holes in the roof.
  • Roofing Tar and Tarpaper (or self-adhesive roofing paper) for a Category 3 and above storm.
  • Plastic covering (or tarpaulin, visqueen, canvas) for large holes in the roof, broken windows, making tents and to cover furniture.
  • Rope or Heavy Cord for clothesline and securing boats.
  • Ground Anchors to secure boat and tool shed.
  • Hammer and Nails
  • Screwdrivers
  • Razor knife
  • Emergency Generator. $200 for a 750 watt model that will run a few light bulbs to $2,000 for an 8,000 watt that will run everything in your house. A 4,000 watt model will run a small A.C., refrigerator and lights. A fuel tank larger than 5 gallons is preferable because it runs longer. Five gallons will be needed to run the generator all night long. Also, the generator should have an Oil Alert Switch to indicate the oil level.
  • Heavy Duty Extension Cords for generator connection to appliances.
  • Chain Saw - Small ones start at $100. Get one with a 12-14 inch chain - it will give 2-3 days of steady cutting before the chain has to be replaced. Extra chains cost $8.
  • Axe or Hatchet and Handsaw
  • Crowbar
  • Work Gloves


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Weather Service, and the American Red Cross all advise people not to use candles at all for any reason during or after a disaster. Candles can easily be knocked over by a gust of wind, and they tend to invite child fireplay.


Safe Room - Have a safe, interior room with no windows ready with all your supplies (food, lights, radio, camera, purse, insurance policy copy, medications, glasses, blanket, pillows, mattress). Stay There! Remain indoors during the hurricane. Blowing debris can injure or kill. Travel is extremely dangerous.

Animals should be placed in their carriers.

Windows and Doors - Stay away from all windows and doors. DO NOT open a window on the opposite side of the winds as we have been advised in the past.

Candles - DO NOT use; they can blow over.

Telephone should not be used when there is lightning present.

Power - Turn off all appliances at the fuse box (circuit breaker) or remove fuses when the power begins to be intermittent or when flooding begins. Leave one breaker on that operates a light.

Eye of the Hurricane - Do not be fooled by the storm's calm eye which takes from several minutes to an hour to pass. Stay in your "safe place" unless emergency repairs are absolutely necessary. Winds will blow suddenly in the opposite direction after the eye passes. The strongest winds are northeast of the eye.

Tornadoes often precede a hurricane. If you are caught outside, move at right angles from the tornado.

Lightning - If you are outside and your hair stands on end or your skin tingles, lightning may be about to strike you. Drop to the ground and bend forward with hands on knees.

Radio - Listen to local radio stations. Remain indoors until local government officials announce it is safe.

A Few Words About Shelters

The American Red Cross operates local shelters for given areas. The responsibility for providing shelter during the first 72 hours of a natural disaster lies in the hands of local Red Cross Chapters. In turn these shelters are operated by local volunteers that are trained in Shelter Operations and Disaster Services at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels.

Each community should have an Emergency Management Plan, a Civil Defence Plan, in effect. This body deals with the location of potential shelters long before the danger of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Schools act as the primary source of Hurricane Shelters. During Hurricane seasons the location of shelters will be released by CD officials. Be aware of shelters even if in evacuation as not to be caught on the road during the onslaught of the storm.

Civil Air Patrol members should become active in community projects such as the Emergency Management Plan as well as support the activities of local Red Cross officials. American Red Cross offers several classes in Shelter Operations. Contact your local Red Cross Chapter for details.



During a power failure, cooking and eating habits must change to fit the situation. You may have no heat, no refrigeration, and limited water. In addition, health risks from contaminated or spoiled food may increase. When preparing food during a power outage follow these guidelines.

Conserve Fuel

  1. Consider the amount of cooking time needed for particular foods. If you have limited heat for cooking, choose foods which cook quickly. Prepare casseroles and one-dish meals, or serve no-cook foods.
  2. Alternative cooking methods include:
    • Fireplace. Many foods can be skewered, grilled or wrapped in foil and cooked in the fireplace.
    • Electric utensils. If gas is cut off, but you still have electricity, use electric skillets, hot plates or coffee makers to heat food.
    • Candle warmers. Devices using candle warmers such as fondue pots may be used if no other heat sources are available.
    • Camp stoves and charcoal burners. These maybe used outside your home. Never use fuel-burning camp stoves or charcoal burners inside your home, even in a fireplace. Fumes from these stoves can be deadly.
  3. Do not cook frozen foods unless you have ample heat for cooking. Some frozen foods require considerably more cooking time and heat than canned goods. Also, if power is off, it is best to leave the freezer door closed to keep food from thawing.
  4. Commercial canned foods can be eaten straight from the can. Do not use home canned vegetables unless you have the means to boil them for 10 minutes before eating.


Conserve Water

  1. Save liquids from canned vegetables. Substitute these for water in cooked dishes.
  2. Drain and save juices from canned fruits. Substitute these for water in salads and beverages.

Observe Health Precautions

  1. Boil all water used in food preparation for at least 10 minutes.
  2. If you are without refrigeration, open only enough food containers for one meal. Some foods can be kept a short time without refrigeration. If available, packaged survival or camping foods are safe. Do not serve foods that spoil easily, such as ground meats, creamed foods, hash, custards and meat pies. These are potential sources of food-borne illness.
  3. If necessary, substitute canned and powdered milk for fresh milk. Canned milk will keep safely for many hours after you open the can. If you are using canned milk to feed a baby, however, open a fresh can for each bottle. Use only boiled or disinfected water to mix powdered milk. Use reconstituted milk immediately after it is mixed if you have no refrigeration. If safe water or water disinfectants are not available, use canned or bottled fruit juices instead of water.
  4. Prepare and eat foods in their original containers, if possible. This will help if dishwashing facilities are limited.


One of your most crucial needs is a supply of safe water. Every person in your family needs about 2 quarts of water or other liquids daily (more in hot weather). You also need pure water for preparing foods, brushing teeth and keeping clean.

When warned of a severe storm which could cause flooding, or which could otherwise disrupt water services, insure an adequate supply of safe water for your family by filling large clean containers: pots, pans, sinks and bathtubs with water. Then shut off the main water valve to protect the clean water already in your water system. If possible close the valves on the water lines leaving the house.

You may have emergency sources of water, such as ice cubes on hand. Soft drinks and fruit juices are water substitutes. In addition, the water in your water pipes and toilet tanks (NOT THE BOWLS) is safe to drink if you closed the valve on the main water line before the flood.

To use the water still in pipes, turn on the faucet located in the highest point in the house-usually in an upstairs bathroom. This lets air into the system. Then draw water from the lowest faucet in the house.

Your water heater or water pressure tank could supply 30 to 60 gallons of safe water in an emergency. Before using water from the water heater, switch off the gas or electricity which heats the water. Leaving the heating part on while the heater is empty could cause an explosion or burn out elements. After turning off the gas or electricity open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Do not turn the water heater on again until the water system is back to normal service.


Unless you are absolutely certain your home water supply is not contaminated by flood water, treat all water before using it for drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth or dishwashing. If the water contains sediment or floating material, strain it through a cloth before treating it. Water can be treated by boiling or by chemical treatment.


Boil water at a rolling boil for 10 minutes to kill any disease-causing bacteria in the water. Add a pinch of salt to each quart of boiled water to improve the taste.

Chemical Treatment

If water cannot be boiled, treat it with chlorine bleach such Clorox or Purex. Household bleach is a good disinfectant for water. However, check the label to sure that the active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is 5.25 percent. Do not use bleach which contains detergents. Mix bleach thoroughly into the water. Let it stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If it doesn't, repeat the dose and let the water stand for an additional 15 minutes.
1 quart 4 drops
1 gallon 16 drops
5 gallons 80 drops

  1. Using Iodine to treat water is not recommended. Some people have reactions to Iodine that can quickly cause them to become ill or die. This is especially true for children, elderly people, and people with chronic illness.
  2. Water purification tablets as sold in camping stores are not recommended for general use. According to the USDA and the Center for Disease Control, about 10% of the adult population has a hidden chronic illness or other problem which these tablets may aggravate. Also, children, elderly people, and peole with chronic illness should not use these tablets.


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