4 ways to be a lifeline to friends and family caught in a weather event

When a weather event strikes close to home, it can be hard to know how to help friends and family members in need. But there are numerous ways you can relieve their stress, just with your everyday household items. Here are four lifelines you can extend to friends and family during and after a weather event.
1. Electronics chargers

During a flood or power outage, your friends may not have the means to charge their phones and computers. Their first priority after a storm, however, will be to keep in touch with family members and stay up-to-date on public safety announcements.

TIP: Turn your home into a charging station. Invite your friends and neighbors over for tea and offer up your power strips and chargers. If you want to be extra-prepared, pick up a universal charger. Many electronics stores sell them for laptops and cell phones, and it’ll ensure that you will be able to charge a variety of standard devices.

2. A radio (and extra batteries)

When your friend’s home has been hit by a tornado, they may be left feeling stranded. 2011’s devastating Joplin, MO tornado knocked out phone lines and electricity across the city. Residents relied on the local radio station to stay informed and communicate with one another.

TIP: Offer your friend a battery-powered radio (and extra batteries) to help them keep abreast of the latest weather information so they can stay safe during and after a weather event.

3. A first aid kit

Did your neighbor suffer a minor cut in a windstorm? Did they get some serious blisters in a wildfire evacuation? In a weather event, victims may not even notice the small injuries they accumulate—but in the often-harsh conditions following, those injuries could worsen. Lend out a first aid kit to those affected by a storm; it could mean the difference between a small treatable injury and a hospital visit a few weeks down the road.

TIP: Include bandages, sanitizers or cleansing towels, antibiotic ointment, sterile dressings, scissors, disposable gloves and pain relievers in your kit.

4. A list of important phone numbers

During a weather event—especially one that may knock out electricity, like a hurricane—it can be tough to get in touch with local authorities, particularly if you don’t already have a list of their numbers on hand. Type out a list of important local numbers and give it to friends and neighbors during or after a weather event. During an emergency, your list will be a lifeline that connects them to someone who can help.

TIP: Important numbers on your list could include your local fire and police departments, the electric company, the gas company, the nearest hospital, the local radio station and designated shelters for weather events.

At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, your family’s safety is our No. 1 priority, and we’re here to be your lifeline after kind any kind of weather event.

At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, we’re here to help keep you safe through each new season. Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine services the following communities: Bangor Brewer, Old Town, Ellsworth, MDI, Houlton, Waterville, Augusta, and surrounding towns in Central & Down East Maine.

The five most destructive storms of 2012

2012 was a year for the books: from a superstorm to a super-hot summer, we’ve seen record after record shattered by Mother Nature. Take a look at the following clips to see some of the year’s most destructive storms and their aftermath — and our tips to help you weather these types of events safely next year!

1. Hurricane Sandy
On October 29, Hurricane Sandy came ashore near Atlantic City, N.J. The storm devastated the eastern seaboard and caused an estimated $63 billion in damages, making it the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history (second only to Hurricane Katrina). For a sobering look at the storm’s magnitude, take a look at this ABC News video of the wreckage from one of Sandy’s hardest-hit coastal towns, Seaside Heights, N.J.

Play it safe in 2013: Due to the extended electricity losses and flooding during Sandy, hypothermia became a health risk during and after the weather event. If a storm leaves you without electricity, make sure you layer plenty of warm clothes, move around and wear a hat to help keep warm. Always listen closely for and follow evacuation protocols to avoid being stranded.

2. The November Nor’easter
Ten days after Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S., a powerful nor’easter swept through the Northeast, dumping inches of snow and rain on already-battered communities. The nor’easter produced 8-foot waves along the coast and set snowfall records in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Watch this ABC News video for a glimpse of the Nor’easter experience.

Play it safe in 2013: If you have a generator you’re planning to use the next time a weather event knocks out the electricity, make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector. This little hero of a device might have saved several lives during November’s storm.

3. June Derecho
A derecho is a set of severe thunderstorm complexes, and in late June, one of the most destructive derechos in North American history hit the Midwest from Indiana to Virginia. The derecho resulted in one tornado, winds in excess of 90 mph and hail up to 2.75 inches large; more than 3.7 million customers lost power. All told, the damage was estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. Watch this video by toobmonstah to see the storm raging in Maryland, including two transformer explosions.

Play it safe in 2013: The majority of the derecho’s fatalities were the result of falling trees. If 2013 brings thunderstorms your way, retreat indoors immediately. If possible, take shelter in a basement or away from windows to best protect yourself.

4. Colorado Wildfires
After an unusually dry winter, a set of wildfires burned throughout Colorado during heat wave-riddled June and July, destroying more than 600 homes and 200,000 acres in the process. 34,500 residents were evacuated as a result of the fires. One fire, the Waldo Canyon Fire, was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history—it destroyed 350 homes and almost 20,000 acres alone. In this video captured by LuvinMusicMan, you can see the Waldo Canyon Fire progressing.

Play it safe in 2013: When wildfire season rolls around, make sure to heed any public service announcements and leave your home immediately when ordered by authorities. As demonstrated by the Colorado wildfires of 2012, high winds can shift a fire’s course much quicker than you’d expect!

5. March Tornado Outbreak
On March 2nd and 3rd, a tornado outbreak hit the Ohio River Valley, resulting in 70 confirmed tornados during that two-day period. The tornados caused an estimated $1.5 billion in damage. The March tornado outbreak is the second-deadliest early-March outbreak on record, behind only the 1966 Candlestick Park tornado. Watch as the strongest tornado of the outbreak hits Henryville, Ind. in this CNN video.

Play it safe in 2013: Many of the March tornados were large enough to lift and toss vehicles—some more than 100 yards away. If you’re driving and a tornado touches down nearby, immediately pull over and find shelter in the nearest sturdy building. Your car is not a safe place to ride out the storm!

At Paul Davis, our first priority is to help keep you and your family safe in every kind of weather event.