FORT LEE, Va. (April 29, 2010) – Hurricane season begins June 1 and now is the time to prepare. National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 24-30, Fort Lee will observe

The Virginia Department of Taxation will conduct its tax-free weekend for certain supplies and equipment needed for hurricane preparedness between May 25-31. The post safety office can provide an emergency check list to help you to help you organize and prepare.

Once you have completed your to-do list and gathered your supplies, you are not ready yet. Make safety your number one action plan when a hurricane strikes.

• Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Close all interior doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. 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. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm winds will pick up again. Be alert for tornadoes that can happen during a hurricane or after it passes and use the same precautions.

• It is wise for everyone to have their shoes on in case you have structural damage and debris after the storm. If you have structural damage, evacuate safely and call 911.

• If there are downed power lines, do not touch them or try to move them. They may still be energized. Call 911.

• If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, open the windows and evacuate. Any spark can ignite the gas, so do not use your home phone or cell phone to call 911 – call from a safe distance away. Do not switch anything on or off (including a car’s ignition) and do not use door bells to alert neighbors.

• Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. Use bottled water until authorities say that the water supply is safe for drinking.

• Never use a camping stove, lantern, or grill indoors since it omits carbon monoxide.

• Before heating food in their cans, remove the label and open the can to allow for expansion.

• Refrigerated food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that has been above 40 degrees for 2 hours.

• Food may be safely refrozen if the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below. You will have to evaluate each item separately. Partial thawing and refreezing may reduce the quality of some food, but the food will remain safe to eat.

• Be sure to discard any items in either the freezer or the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

• If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way because it may not be safe.