Weather awareness… are you prepared for hurricane season?
Determine your risk
Find out what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing for how to handle them. Hurricanes’ impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland.
Develop an evacuation plan
You’re going to need supplies, not just to get through the storm, but for the aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of one week. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Many of us have cell phones, and they all run on batteries.
Assemble disaster supplies
- Cash- Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods.
- Cellphones- a portable, crank or solar powered USB charger
- Water- at least one gallon per person per day for three to seven days, plus water for pets.
- Food- at least enough for three to seven days, including: non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices, food for infants and the elderly, snack food, non-electric can opener, vitamins, paper plates, plastic utensils.
- Radio- battery powered and NOAA weather radio with extra batteries
- Blankets, pillows, etc.
- Clothing- seasonal, rain gear/sturdy shoes
- First aid kit- plus medicines, prescription drugs
- Special items- for babies and the elderly
- Toiletries- hygeine items, moisture wipes, sanitizer
- Flashlight and Batteries
- Toys, books, games
- Pet care items- proper identification, immunization records, ample food and water, medicine, a carrier or cage, leash
- Store important documents in a fire and water proof container
- Insurance papers
- Medical records
- Bank account numbers
- Social security cards
- Deeds or mortgages
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks and bonds
- Recent tax returns
Secure and insurance checkup
Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Don’t forget cverage for your car or boat. Remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for it, and it’s available through your company, agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov. Flood insurance requires 30-day waiting period.
Strengthen your home
If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many of these additions do not coast much or take as long to do as you may think. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.
Check on your neighbor
Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes. Start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies.
Complete your written hurricane plan
The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins, when you have the time and are not under pressure. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under duress and will make the wrong decisions. Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. You don’t want to be standing in long lines when a hurricane warning is issued. Those supplies that you need will probably be sold out by the time you reach the front of the line. It will mean the difference between your being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor.
SECURITY’S ROLE IN THE EVENT OF A HURRICANE
Prior to the hurricane, the patrol officers will notify as many people that are outside i.e.: lakes and shops. A mass email will be sent out to the business letting them know of the warning/watch. *A warning means that hurricane conditions are expected whereas a watch means that conditions are possible. During a hurricane watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.
An example email would have these tips:
- Move desks, file cabinets, worktables and bookcases away from windows and open doorways
- Clear desktops, tables and other exposed horizontal surfaces of materials that may be susceptible to high winds and water.
- Protect books, valuable papers and equiptment by covering them with plastic sheeting and storing them inside cabinets, boxes or transferring them to an interior room.
- Back up computer hard drives
- Unplug computers,printers, and all other electrical appliances. Protect equiptmet from water damage by placing them inside thick plastic and sealing the ends with tape.
- Occupants in areas susceptible to flooding should remove contents from bottom drawers or desks and file cabinets.
- Provide a means of contact with your supervisor in case damage occurs in the work area.
- Close and latch all windows
- Drop all blinds and close all shades
Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothing
Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library- even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
- Keep in mind: electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
Schedule Outdoor activities carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover
Pace yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Wear sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. Protect yourself from the sun by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Look for sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels – these products work best.
Do not leave children in cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open.
- To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
- When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
- Avoid hot and heavy meals: they ass heat to your body.
Drink planty of fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Stay away from sugary or alcoholic drinks – these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Replace salt and minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
- Keep your pets Hydrated: Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
Check for updates: Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips and to learn about any cooling shelters in your area. Use a buddy system: when working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
Monitor those at high risk
- Infants and young children
- People 65 years of age and older
- People who are overweight
- People who overexert during work or exercise
- People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.