Another Hurricane season is here, and it is time for the residents of the south eastern United States to make sure they are prepared. Forecasters are predicting a light hurricane season this year, but we all know these forecasts can be wrong. Also, light or heavy, it only takes one storm to mess everything up.
The unpredictability of Hurricane season is exactly why it is important to be prepared for the worst. When a storm is coming, we all hope it will be nothing more then a bad thunderstorm with an added excuse to have some people over for a hurricane party, but we also realize it could be a disaster that leaves our streets flooded, and vital services like power and phone, knocked out. Not to mention the barren store shelves (if you can even get to the store) and the extended response time from emergency services. These are the reasons we need to be prepared.
Here are some ways to be prepared for a catastrophic storm.
Learn the evacuation routes for your area. Where local safe shelters are, and have a plan for where to go in case of an evacuation.
Have a first aid kit ready, and know how to use it. (The American Red Cross has a free app that you can download for help)
Have a disaster plan and disaster kit. Your kit should include:
- water (1 gal per day per person… enough for at least 1 week)
- non perishable food (enough for your whole family for at least 1 week)
- battery operated or hand cranked radio
- battery operated or hand cranked flashlights
- extra batteries
- whistle to signal for help
- toilet paper, garbage bags, sanitary items
- manual can opener
- local maps
- solar USB charger (for your cell phone)
- prescription medications, and glasses
- Important documents in a waterproof bag (insurance policies, bank account info, identification, etc)
Have all the tools, and supplies necessary to secure your property. (to board up your windows, clear rain gutters and downspouts, secure any outdoor furniture, or boats, and trim your plants to make them more wind resistant)
Develop a family communication plan. Make sure all family members have a hard copy of everyone else’s contact information. Set up an out of state family member that everyone can call to check in with. (out of town calls are sometimes easier to make in an emergency)
Get trained in first aid and CPR (call your local Red-Cross location for training information)
Most of us have seen the news footage of how devastating these storms can be. Many of us have lived through them. Katrina, Charley, Ivan, Andrew, Ike, Wilma, Sandy… If you were there, you will never forget the names. If you live in any of the Gulf coast states, or along the Atlantic seaboard, you need to be prepared for the next storm. It may not hit this hurricane season, but it will hit.