Hurricane Alex was the first storm of the 2010 Hurricane Season and fortunately did not cause a great deal of damage. It is important to be prepared ahead of the arrival of a storm in anticipation of extreme weather conditions, flooding, and loss of power. By taking a few simple precautions, you can help ensure you and your loved ones make it safely through a disaster.
There are three steps that are critical to ensure you are fully prepared: Have a Plan, Make a Kit and Be Informed.
HAVE A PLAN
- If you plan to stay in your home be sure to notify friends and relatives of your plans to stay.
- Discuss your evacuation plans with your family, friends and relatives. Know contact information for your family members, friends and anyone else you may need to contact.
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all of your family has a single point of contact.
- Learn evacuation routes from your area and places to meet. Plan for traffic, so expect delays and longer drive times.
- Learn places to stay between your home and your destination, just in case you have to stop or detour.
- Make a checklist of what you need to do and make sure to review prior to the storms arrival.
- Make plans for what you are going to do with your pets and livestock.
- If you have a car, keep at least a half tank of gas at all times.
- Make sure to properly prepare your home or business. Protect windows and doors, bring any outdoor objects inside and turn off utilities if instructed.
- Locate a safe room, or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard (storm surge, flooding and wind). In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but another location in your community.
- Check your insurance coverage – flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
MAKE A KIT
- Have enough supplies to last for 3-7 days.
- Water – one gallon daily per person.
- Pack non-perishable packaged or canned foods, juices, food for infants, snacks,
cooking tools, fuel, non-electric can opener and any food for pets. Have a supply of paper plates, cups and plastic utensils.
- Medications, personal hygiene items, toilet paper, cleanup supplies, etc.
- Keep fully charged cell phones with chargers and extra batteries.
- Make sure to have a battery operated radio and flashlight with extra batteries. You
may want to invest in an electric generator.
- Have extra clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes, blankets, pillows and sleeping bags.
- Toys, books and games.
- Keep any important documents in a waterproof container or water-tight resealable
plastic bag, including photo IDs, driver license, Social Security card, proof of residence, bank account information, and any insurance papers you may need to process insurance claims.
- Have cash, including small bills and credit cards – Banks and ATM’s may not be
available for an extended time.
- Be familiar with any hurricane terms. A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area. A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected in your area.
- Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential. Category three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes. Category one and two are dangerous but not as destructive.
- Be aware of possible flooding. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall. Flooding on rivers and streams may persist for several days or more after the storm.
- Learn about the emergency plans established in your area by your state and local government. Listen to any instructions given by local emergency management officials.
Following the steps listed above will ensure that you are best prepared to deal with the immediate effects of a Hurricane.