Hurricanes: Be Prepared

Very Active Hurricane Season Ahead: NOAA

Today NOAA issued the scheduled update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook. Forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, and they increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes. The season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.

How To Prepare For A Hurricane

Here are some key tip to prepare you and your family in the event of a hurricane:

Know Your Emergency Plan

It's always good to have an emergency plan and practice it regularly with the whole family whenever possible.

  • Know your hurricane risk
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans
  • Know where your evacuation routes are
  • Have a family communication plan
  • Make sure businesses, schools and day cares have emergency plans
  • Download any emergency apps available for your cell phone

Prepare Your Home:

Minimize damage to your home and prepare for anything:

  • Install permanent storm shutters on all windows and doors or place one-half inch pre-cut plywood on all doors and windows
  • Store any lawn furniture/ loose outdoor items inside as to prevent anything from damaging your property
  • Clear loose or clogged rain gutters to prevent flooding
  • Remove loose or low hanging branches that could potentially cause damage to your home
  • Review your homeowner's insurance (standard homeowner's insurance does not cover flooding)

If Remaining In Your Home:

  • Listen to local radio
  • Check emergency kit
  • Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet, washing the floor and washing clothes
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small, non-essential appliances
  • Move furniture and valuables to higher floors in home to prevent damage
  • Be prepared to evacuate in the event of an extreme emergency

Before Evacuating:

  • Fill your gas tank
  • Make sure your car is in good condition to drive any distance
  • Listen to your local radio
  • If you have animals, including livestock, move sooner rather than later in order to get your animals, and yourself, to safety

What You Need In Your Emergency Kit

Be sure to pack an emergency preparedness kit with the following:

  • Water (1 gallon per person, per day)
  • Food (non-perishable and easy-to-prepare items)
  • Thermos and coolers
  • Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Battery/ hand-crank operated radio or television
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications/ medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool and tools/supplies for securing your home (i.e. duct tape, plastic sheeting, scissors, work gloves, matches, heavy duty extension cords etc.)
  • Personal hygiene items and extra clothes including a hat and sturdy shoes
  • Cellphone with chargers
  • Emergency blankets and sleeping bags
  • Whistle
  • Rain gear and towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Generator in case of power outages

Get Your Personal Documents In Order

Place these important documents in a portable, waterproof case:

  • Family/emergency contacts and any other important telephone numbers
  • Medical information (medication list, immunization records, etc.)
  • Proof of address
  • Passports
  • Social Security card
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Copy of will, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Insurance policies
  • Bank account numbers
  • Traveler's checks
  • Military service ID
  • Inventory of valuable household goods
  • Maps of the area

Family Members With Special Circumstances

Some family members may need more than others including those with special conditions, babies, the elderly and pets.

  • Special conditions: Store at least a three days worth of medical supplies.
  • Babies: Be sure to pack the essentials including formula, diapers, wipes, bottles, clothes and anything else your baby may need for an extended period of time.
  • Elderly: Make sure to keep a list of all medications and their dosages members take as well as copies of all prescription slips that have your doctor's names and phone numbers. If relying on any sort of medical equipment, contact the devices manufacturer and ask about possible emergency equipment and refills. Also, get in touch with your doctor in regards to oxygen and your medical equipment.
  • Pets: Keep a collar, leash, their ID, food, a carrier and a bowl on hand.

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