The following security tips are provided to ensure your safety at all times...
Security at Home
- Equip all your exterior door with a one inch dead-bolt or drop-boIt lock. The lock should also have a highly pick-resistant cylinder protected by a guard plate. Change existing locks if you've just moved into a home.
- Install a door peephole, or an intercom system, or closed circuit camera system to identify visitors before opening the door. The peephole should be of the wide-angle type which gives a fuller view of the outside area.
- Exterior doors should be of the "solid core" type, which provide a stronger barrier against break-in.
- Do not open door until you are sure of the identity of your visitor.
- Always double lock door when leaving, even to put out trash, pick up mail or walk the dog. Keep all doors locked at night.
- Secure windows and sliding glass doors by drilling a small hole at a downward angle through the interior frame and partially into the exterior frame. Slide a bolt or nail into the hole to prevent the window/door from being opened. You can also equip windows with a lock that cannot be defeated from the outside.
- Trim shrubs around windows and doors that could conceal a burglar.
- Install exterior lighting or motion sensor lighting to illuminate dark or hidden entry ways.
- Consider installing yard fencing to limit unauthorized entry.
- Install a home alarm system, purchased and installed by a nationwide reputable company. The system should include door and window contacts, motion sensors and glass break sensors.
- Do not leave house-key under mat, in mailbox or in any other area near door. If you lose your keys or they are stolen, replace lock cylinders immediately.
- Don't volunteer any information to unknown callers on the telephone. Don't give out your home phone number to wrong number callers. Instruct young children not to give out information over the phone to unfamiliar callers.
- Give careful consideration to requests to photograph your home.
- If on returning you find a door open or tampered with, do not enter. Leave immediately and notify police.
- If awakened at night by an intruder, lie still, try not to panic, and at first opportunity call the police.
- A family dog can be a deterrent to criminals. But remember, even the best watch-dog can be controlled by food or poison. Dogs are more alert when confined to your premises and kept separate from visitors.
Automobile Personal Security Tips
No one method of prevention is completely effective in every situation. Allowing yourself to consider what you would do if attacked may be the best preparation. Also consider the following suggestions:
- Look around and under your vehicle before approaching.
- Check the back seat of your vehicle before entering and immediately lock the door behind you.
- Never leave keys in the vehicle or ignition.
- If you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or open business and honk your vehicle's horn.
- Never leave your vehicle running - not even in your driveway!
- Always keep windows up and doors locked - even while driving.
- Park in secured lots that are well lit and near high traffic areas.
- Remove valuables from your vehicle and place them in the trunk - out of view.
- Keep your garage door opener with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the thief may attempt to get into your house.
- Avoid leaving any information that contains your home address in your car.
Prepare For a Disaster - O.D.P.E.M.
Jamaica, because of its location, geology and geography, is prone to several natural hazards. The major threats include landslides, hurricanes, floods, droughts and earthquakes. These hazards, when combined with situations of high vulnerability, usually result in disasters of varying severity.
Do you know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning? If you do, please skip to the Hurricane Tip below. However, If you don’t, please take a moment to the read the following...
Hurricane Preparedness Tip No. 1
Do you know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning? If you do, please skip to the Hurricane Tip below. However, If you don’t, please take a moment to the read the following:
A Hurricane Watch
Is an announcement issued by the National Meteorological Center when a hurricane becomes a threat to coastal areas. A "Hurricane Watch" is not a "Warning." It indicates that a hurricane (with sustained winds of 73 mph/117 kph or higher) is near enough that everybody in the area covered by the "Watch" should listen for subsequent advisories and be ready to take precautionary measures in case hurricane warnings are issued. Hurricane Watches usually are issued 24 to 36 hours in advance of landfall.
A Hurricane Warning
A Hurricane Warning indicates that a hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph/ 119 kph, is to be expected in 24 hours or less. At this point, hurricane preparedness plans must be finalized. Hurricane warnings are seldom issued more than 24 hours in advance, and in cases of hurricanes with unusual or erratic paths, the warning may be issued only a few hours before landfall.
Do you know what to do when a "Hurricane Watch" is issued?
- Listen to local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information.
- Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
- Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood to cover all windows. Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking, so taping windows is not recommended.
- Fill your car's gas tank.
- Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications.
Do you know what to do when a "Hurricane Warning" is issued
- Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
- Complete preparation activities.
- If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
- Be aware that the calm "eye" is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds.
- Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.
- Above all remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.
Hurricane Preparedness Tip No. 2
Nineteen Things You Might Overlook In A Hurricane
If you’ve been informed that you are in a hurricane's path, there are certain things that you should try to do.
Always keep in mind that is never too early to think about how to land on your feet once it's over. There will be the aftermath…… the mud, the flooding, the wind damage and a mess so complete that it will be hard to know where to begin putting things right.
So, The Building Committee has chosen to list a few essential do’s and don’ts of hurricane preparedness and aftermath.
Before the Hurricane
- Move anything immediately outside of your house that might turn into a projectile such as potted plants, trash cans, plant stands and metal chairs. These things may do serious damage to walls, windows and doors when in contact with the awesome force of hurricane winds. Remember, winds over 50 mph turn a potted plant into a missile! If you can’t move them try to secure them by tying them down.
- Fill a bathtub with water. This water is not only for drinking but will also be necessary to flush toilets. Ensure to that the seal on the bath stopper bath tub is intact and will not leak. If the seal is not intact, you may use silicone to seal the bath tub.
- Place passports, family album and important documents in Ziploc plastic bags or in watertight plastic containers.
- Withdraw some cash from bank account (preferably by way of ABM). After a Hurricane, Banks may be closed indefinitely and when re-opened there may be a run on the bank with extremely long lines to get service. ABM network service may disrupted due to damage to electrical and telephone lines.
- If a Hurricane is approaching and will make landfall, please resist the urge to go outside to watch or record nature in action. You are not a storm chaser and should leave this to the professionals on the Weather Channel (they are being paid handsomely to be stupid).
- Drive only if necessary no matter what type of SUV or Pick-up you may have. Debris and floodwaters may be covering roads, making them impassable.
- Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may also be electrically charged from downed power lines and/or contaminated by effluent.
- Beware of insects and animals driven to higher ground by floodwaters.
- If you left your house during the Hurricane, you should re-enter your home with extreme caution. Beware of fallen objects or damaged roofs and walls.
- Remember, flooding could cause toilets to flush poorly, if at all, due to the overload on the sewage system.
- It is to be noted that those households that are connected to NWC sewage system should be very careful when flushing as this may lead to an overflow. Use caution when doing this!
- Do not use matches, torches, candles or other open flame until the gas line is checked for damage. If damage found, do not repair the damaged gas line yourself. Seek a professional to do so. As such, use flashlights for light until the line can be checked out.
- Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated. If in doubt, the water can be boiled or treated with bleach before use.
- Do not eat food that came into contact with floodwaters.
- Take pictures of all damage before starting cleanup or repairs for insurance purposes (if applicable).
- Never connect portable generators to your house. Use them only to run necessary appliances.
- Once the storm has completely dissipated and the weather is no longer inclement, remove shutters or plywood, and open windows and doors, to ventilate or dry your home if necessary.
- Wear protective clothing while cleaning up debris. Wear rubber gloves while scrubbing flood-damaged interiors and furniture.
- Lastly, should your home be damaged, resist the temptation to flee and deal with it later. You'd better accept it and start the ball rolling to repair your home. If you have insurance, call them at once and make your claim. The sooner you report damage, the sooner you get to cash the check.
During the Hurricane
Immediately after the storm