If you live in a part of the country that gets hurricanes, it is important to be prepared in advance for the possible devastation which may occur.
Hurricane season starts the first of June and goes all the way through the end of November. Hurricanes can cause damage to power lines, water systems, buildings and more. High waters can make it hard for help to get to you. Here is what you need to know to get you through the bad weather safely.
Watches vs. Warnings
A hurricane watch means that you could have hurricane conditions during the next day and half. If a watch is issued for your area, you should start to follow your emergency plans. This includes any preparations that need to be made to your home or property, leaving flood zones, and securing boats.
This is particularly true for any action that requires extra time to complete. A hurricane warning means that your area is expected to receive winds of 74 miles per hour or more within the next day. If a warning has been issued, you should finish up your preparations and get to your safe zone before the hurricane hits.
Before the Storm
There are several things that you are going to need before the hurricane hits. This includes a disaster plan for you and your pets. You will need shelter and supplies for everyone in your family, including the furry ones. Board up windows and bring in outdoor items that could blow away, or cause additional damage to neighbors. Know where evacuation routes are and have an evacuation plan.
Make or buy an emergency survival kit. Your kit should include enough food and water for at least three days, as well as first aid supplies, a battery operated or wind-up radio, flashlights, clothing, medication, and other necessities. Make sure that you check and update your survival kit on a regular basis. Keep cash handy for emergencies as hurricanes can shut down bank and ATM operations temporarily. Make sure your car is full of gas in case of an evacuation.
During The Storm
Once the hurricane has hit you will need to take some precautions. Stay indoors and away from low lying and flood prone areas. If you live in a mobile home or a home in a low lying area you should go to a preapproved shelter. Follow emergency evacuations and other instructions immediately for your own safety. If you do need to use your emergency kits, do so sparingly since help may take a few days to arrive.
After The Storm
Once the hurricane has passed you will still want to stay indoors until it is safe to come home. Check for injured or trapped people if it is possible to do so without putting yourself at risk. Stay out of flood prone areas until waters subside and do not drive through standing water. Avoid drinking tap water until city officials have said that it is clean to drink. Again, use emergency supplies sparingly since it can take a few days for all areas to receive power and fresh water again.
A hurricane can be disastrous, but having a plan and provisions in place will make it easier for your family to prepare for it.