Hurricane Season is Upon Us - Are You Prepared?
By Mark Robertson
From June through November, hurricanes are at their peak. During a hurricane, heavy rains and catastrophic winds barrel through coastal areas and can severely damage or destroy homes and businesses. To help you plan and remain safe at home during these potentially deadly storms, follow these safety tips:
During Hurricane Season
- Plan evacuation routes and designate a “post-disaster contact person” that family members know to call once the storm is over.
- Stock up on items such as bottled water, canned goods, manual can/bottle opener, flashlights, battery-operated radio, nails, tarps and plywood.
- Keep an up-to-date log of all of your possessions with photographs and videos, and review your home insurance policy.
- Trim your trees and shrubs to minimize damage.
When a Hurricane Threatens
- Cover windows and doors and secure outdoor furniture.
- Make sure you have three gallons of water per family member.
- Refill your prescriptions, fill up your car with gas and withdraw a week’s worth of cash since power outages may interrupt these services temporarily.
- Place important, valuable papers such as your log of possessions in waterproof bags.
- If you live in a trailer home and are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
During a Hurricane
- You should have canned food for at least three days and a can opener.
- Listen to your battery-operated radio for instructions from the local authorities on evacuation and safety guidelines.
- Seek shelter in an interior room away from windows, such as a closet. If you hear the winds subside, do not assume that the storm is over. The calm may be the eye of the storm, in which the worst part is yet to come.
- If the electricity goes out, use a flashlight to see; do not use candles.
After a Hurricane
- Make sure you have pet food and supplies for three days.
- When inspecting your home for damage, wear sturdy shoes and clothing as protection.
- Contact a trained expert to turn off damaged utilities and appliances instead of trying to do it yourself.
- Drink only bottled water until tap water is deemed safe.
For more information, visit these helpful links...
National Hurricane Center - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
FEMA Hurricane Center - http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
American Red Cross Hurricane Page - http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane