It’s official, tomorrow marks the first day of the 2018 hurricane season. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, there’s a good chance you’re already well on your way to finishing your hurricane preparedness checklist. If not, there is still time to get everything in order so if the worst does happen, you’ll be ready!
This year’s season started a bit early with Tropical Storm Alberto making land fall early this week. Although it was a relatively tame storm in comparison, it is still causing problems as it treks further inland. It has served us with the reminder that hurricanes are not just a coastal state problem and that we should all have a plan.
Don’t Fail to Plan
I remember sitting in a class talking about the importance of being proactive instead of reactive. A proactive approach leaves us with numerous choices, whereas a reactive approach leaves us in a situation with few choices needing an immediate response. With that being said, there is still time to prepare so in the event of a hurricane you don’t have to spend valuable time and resources on a last-ditch attempt to prepare.
FEMA has a smartphone app that has an in depth preparation plan that can help you and your family be ready. I want to cover just the basics of preparedness in this post.
Here are 5 quick tips:
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
- Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
- If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
- Make a family emergency communication plan.
- Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
These are some general guidelines to help your family prepare for hurricane season. If you’d like to get more in-depth, FEMA has a pdf called “How to Prepare for a Hurricane” available online.