Welcome to Hurricane Country
Lack of preparation is the biggest factor of hurricane devastation. So what you do today could be what keeps you safe tomorrow. If you live in hurricane country then you have a few extras to add to your summer to do list.
In our last post we mentioned that the time to start outdoor preparations is when a watch is given, but I would like to point out that NOW is the time for general preparedness.
1) Have a plan – Prepare your evacuation plan, including pets, transportation routes and destinations. Identify local hazards and know your area. What is the local elevations and flood plains. Will you be affected by storm surges or tidal flooding? Are there any local levies and dams and their corresponding hazard levels?
2) Don’t forget your boat. How and where are you going to secure your boat?
3) Yard work just became more vital. Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed to make them more wind resistant and to help prevent falling limbs and trees. Keep your gutters clear and repair loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
4) Consider building a safe room and/or installing a generator (outside!).
5) Have NOAA radios– you can even purchase ones that will sound alerts for you. Be sure to stay informed of local weather conditions and threats, listen to a NOAA weather radio, or check local forecasts and news reports regular. Get out your maps and track those hurricanes!
6) Get flood insurance, regular home insurance won’t do much for you.
8) Keep your gas tank at least ¾ full at all times. This will ensure you are able to evacuate safely and quickly. While it’s best to always be ready, you should at least prep your car while you are in watch mode.
9) Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container, in a easily accessible location. Read here for some creative “packaging” options.
10) If you have an electric garage door opener- know where the manual release lever is and learn how to use it before an outage, same with knowing where and how to turn off utilities.
11) Sign up for WEA’s (wireless emergency alerts) to be sent to your mobile devices. These alerts have a unique tone and vibration for different warnings.
12) Download FEMA or Red Cross Hurricane app to your smart phone
13) Take FEMA’s online hurricane preparedness course
14) Encourage your neighborhood to join you – host a preparedness race or contest, have a help your neighbor prepare day (many hands make for light work). Resilience is about communities not individuals.
15) Install clips or straps to help keep your roof on (instructions here)
17) Purchase precut 5/8” marine plywood or hurricane shutters (best). This is to cover your homes windows when a watch is ordered; tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
18) Be sure you have a place to put all your out door furniture, equipment and fun in the event of a watch. Yes, that means you HAVE to clean out the garage.
Now you can relax and wait for the call to action. You are ready for this sucker to hit. Isn’t that a great feeling?! Happy Hurricane Week!
For more information from FEMA click here and go to the tab labeled publications.
Download the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide