We're not strangers to hurricanes along the Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Seaboard. We've seen the devastation that can be caused by storms like Katrina and Andrew. We also know that those monster hurricanes are the exception, not the rule. Each hurricane season many storms form and weaken before disrupting our lives. However, what we've learned from the damage caused by hurricanes is the importance of being prepared for these significant weather events.
Hurricane Preparedness (source: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes):
- Know your Hurricane Evacuation Route(s) and have a plan for where you might stay.
- Make a disaster supply kit that contains a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, cash and copies of critical documents.
- If you are not advised to evacuate and you choose to stay at home, plan for enough supplies in the event that you lose power and water and you cannot leave your home for several days.
- Make a family emergency communication plan.
- Before hurricane season, trim or remove damaged trees and branches from your property because high winds from the storm will cause those to fall.
- Secure loose gutters and downspouts.
- Clear your property of clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage at your property.
- Have a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages.
- Close all storm shutters, or board up windows to protect yourself from flying glass.
- Turn your fridge and freezer to the coldest settings. If you lose power the food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the fridge to check food temperatures.
- Bring in or anchor outdoor items (patio furniture, garbage cans, etc) that could become projectiles in high winds.
- Charge your cell phone before you lose power.
- Fill your car's gas tank.
Surviving The Storm:
- If you are given evacuation orders by local officials, follow them.
- Check-in with family and friends to let them know where you are and that you are safe.
- If you are at home, go to an interior room and stay away from windows.
- If flooding begins, turn off the electricity.
- Use a battery operated radio to stay informed on current conditions and when it is safe to venture out.
- Be weary of flooded roadways.