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Tips for Preparing for a Hurricane
Hurricanes can be highly dangerous and destructive storms. If you live in an area that frequently gets hurricanes or a hurricane warning has been issued for your area, there are steps that should be taken to prepare for a hurricane. There are steps that should be taken to prepare for a hurricane both during hurricane season and in anticipation of a specific storm where there has been a hurricane watch or warning.
During Hurricane Season
Hurricane season for the Atlantic is from June 1st through November 30 and you should not only be prepared for hurricanes in anticipation of a storm, but if you live in an area that is frequently struck by hurricanes such as the Caribbean or Gulf Coast, you should take steps throughout hurricane season to be prepared for a hurricane. That way, when there is a hurricane watch or warning, you will have less things to do to be prepared. The following steps are the steps that should be taken during hurricane season so that you are prepared in case of a storm.
- Keep your vehicle gas tank above ½ full throughout the season.
- Test run generators monthly.
- Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, so consider obtaining insurance coverage to cover floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, and heavy rains..
- Keep cash in small denominations on hand.
- Have a portable battery or hand-cranked powered AM/NOAA radio.
- Contact 2-1-1 to register if you will need transportation assistance in case of an evacuation.
In Anticipation of a Storm
If you are in living in an area where a hurricane watch or warning is being instituted, you need to take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your possessions. If you have not already done so, follow the steps above of things to do to prepare for a hurricane during hurricane season. In addition to following those steps, when a hurricane watch or warning has been instituted, follow the steps below to prepare yourself and your family for the impending storm
- Listen to a NOAAWeather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service.
- Board up your windows or close storm shutters.
- Trim the trees and shrubs around your home to prevent loose branches being broken off due to high winds and doing damage.
- Clear clogged downspouts and rain gutters.
- Take an inventory of the possessions in your home (electronics, jewelry, appliances, clothing, etc.) and store valuable items in a safe place.
- Take detailed photos(s)/videos(s) of home, property and its contents (both internal and external) and store the pictures/video in a safe place.
- Store all important documents (insurance papers, etc) in a waterproof container that is in a secure location.
- Secure or remove all items outside your home (such as, grills, hanging plants, potted plants, etc.) that could be picked up by the wind.
- Tie down small or young trees to prevent uprooting from the storm.
- Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water in case water becomes unsanitary.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
- Check your disaster supplies and replace/restock as needed.
- Maintain a supply of water and non-perishable food, juice, etc.
- Have a portable radio, flashlight, cell phone and fresh batteries.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Create an evacuation plan with the members of your household.
- Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan.
- In case evacuation is necessary, plan routes to local shelters, register family members who have special medical needs with the proper authorities, and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
- Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges when driving.
- Have an out-of-state friend/relative as a “family contact”.
- Check to determine that you have an adequate supply of medicine/prescription drugs.
- Have an ample supply of cash because banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods of time.
- Have a first aid kit.
First Aid Kit
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For even more tips, check out this Hurricane preparedness video!
Hurricane Supply Kit
In addition to these steps, make sure that you have prepared a Hurricane Supply Kit and know what to do after the hurricane is over.