As Jamaica braces for the possible impact of Hurricane Beryl, storm preparations should be underway. If you are unsure where to start or simply overwhelmed, don’t worry—Observer Online has you covered. Here are a few tips from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management to safeguard your property and your family during the passage of the storm.

Inspect and Secure Your Roof: Thoroughly check the roof of your house. Ensure that hurricane shutters, hooks, and latches are intact and carry out necessary repairs. Fasten any loose galvanised sheeting to prevent it from becoming dangerous debris.

Protect Important Documents and Valuables: Use plastic bags to safeguard important documents, paintings, and equipment from water damage. Store them in a secure, elevated location.

Prepare for Window and Door Protection: Have a supply of lumber, plywood, and timber ready for battening down and securing windows and doors against strong winds.

Tree Trimming: Trim trees that are close to power lines or overhanging your house. This helps prevent damage and power outages caused by falling branches.

Stock Up on Non-Perishable Food: Gather a supply of non-perishable food items, especially those that require little to no cooking. Remember that electricity might be out during and after the hurricane, limiting your ability to refrigerate food.

Store Emergency Food Properly: Place your emergency food supply in a waterproof container and store it in a closed box, cupboard, or trunk to protect it from water damage.

Equip Your Home with Emergency Supplies: Ensure you have essential emergency equipment such as water boots, raincoats, flashlights, batteries, a portable radio, kerosene lamps, and matches.

First Aid and Medications: Keep simple first-aid equipment at home and ensure all necessary emergency medications are in stock.

Create a Family Disaster Plan: Develop a family disaster plan that includes an evacuation route. Make sure every family member knows the plan.

Know Your Nearest Shelters and Critical Facilities: Familiarize yourself with the locations of the nearest shelters, police stations, and health centres.

Follow Evacuation Orders: Stay informed and heed evacuation orders as they are announced. It’s crucial to leave early if advised to ensure your safety.

By following these steps, you can better protect yourself, your family, and your property from the potential impacts of Hurricane Beryl. Stay safe and stay prepared.