We are in the heart of hurricane season, as this week our first named storm of the year will be hitting land on the east coast, threatening to ruin a lot of 4th of July holiday weekends. And around here we will certainly never forget the power of a hurricane, because there is still evidence of Sandy almost two years later. It was the longest night of my life, as the winds howled, the trees swayed, the rains poured down and the air smelled of ocean water some 90 or so miles from the shore.
Hurricane season runs through about November 30th, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. So while we do not know if the big one will come our way again, it cannot hurt anyone to be prepared. Here are some tips to consider:
-Go to http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes for information about and what to do to prepare.
-Sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) at http://www.ready.gov/alerts. Texts will be sent to your mobile device in an emergency to help keep you safe.
-Building an Emergency Kit by going to http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. Make sure to keep your emergency supply kit together and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Suggested items may include the following:flashlights, extra batteries, water, non-perishable food, medications, first-aid items, eye glasses or contact lenses, hearing aids and batteries, diapering and feeding supplies for babies, non-perishable pet foods, identification and supplies for pets, extra clothes, hand-sanitizer and hygiene-related items, blankets, a handheld radio, phone chargers, cash, a wifi hotspot, and (if you have them) camping supplies for sleeping and cooking.
-Along with the kit, purchase any emergency supplies you may need. Experts suggest having at least a three-day supply available. Also consider supplies you might need in case of damage to your home, such as boards for broken windows.
-Speaking of windows, consider boarding up windows if you live in an area with high winds.
-Make a Family Communications Plan. Learn how at http://www.ready.gov/family-communications.
-Have copies of important documents such as identification cards, medical records, prescriptions, insurance cards and veterinary records.
-Bring in or tie-down outside items such as deck furniture.
-Remove any branches or decorative accessories that are hanging near windows or over your home.
-Unplug all items that are not in use or necessary.
-Know which spot in your home is the safest for an emergency situation such as a tornado warning. Let others know where you are likely to be positioned within your home in case of an emergency.
-Know where the nearest storm shelters in your area are located and tell loved ones which shelter you will go to first in the case of an emergency.
-If you have a landline phone, keep a list of emergency telephone numbers nearby. Also, make sure children know how to call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.
-Download emergency apps such as the Tornado Warning App from the American Red Cross.
-Keep your cell phones and other mobile devices charged.
-Keep enough gas in your car to get to a shelter, to get out of town, and to charge your mobile devices if you should lose power in your home.
-Check with your childrens’ school or daycare provider to find out what emergency preparedness processes they have in place in case of an emergency during the school day.
Hurricanes have the power to cause widespread devastation, and can affect both coastal and inland areas. Being prepared for disasters is a shared responsibility. It takes the whole community working together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a hurricane. Preparing in advance will help you to protect yourself, your family, and your property at a time when every second counts.
Do you have any more hurricane preparedness tips to add? If so, please leave them in the comments below so we can all help one another to be prepared!