Hurricane season has kicked up a notch. The storms are forming. They have not yet reached land. Now, is the time to prepare. Don’t be caught without the necessary supplies and information necessary for survival. Hurricane planning should include pre-storm, storm, and the aftermath. Just because the storm is over, does not mean things will be back to normal. Katrina taught the country how the aftermath of a hurricane can be devastating. Preparation is the key to survival.
Keep track of the storm. Print a hurricane tracking chart. As they approach, plan on how to deal with it, before it hits. Before the storm hits buy any supplies you need. If you don’t have plywood, purchase it. Hang your plywood over your windows, tape does not work! At the end of the season do not throw your plywood away. Put it up for next year. Begin cleaning your yard of any objects that high winds may blow around. Items such as birdhouses, chairs, potted plants, and children’s toys are just a few things that need to be stored in a building. These can become air born missiles during the hurricane force winds. If there are dead limbs in trees surrounding your house, cut them down now. Don’t let the storm rip them out. Falling limbs can crush houses, cars, and people. The more you do before the storm the safer you will be.
Know your evacuation route. The route you take is based on where you live. Get an evacuation map and study it. Know which roads will be open and which will be reversed for evacuation. Usually, an evacuation order will be given 36-48 hours before landfall. If you will be leaving, regardless of the order, then leave early. Roads will be packed and traffic will be slow. The earlier you leave the better. When you evacuate take all necessary papers, phone numbers, and medicine with you. It is also wise to take food, water, a first aid kit, and extra clothes. If you return to an area that was hit hard by the storm, you may not be able to buy food and water. Plan to bring it back with you.
Have essential supplies on hand. Even if you evacuate, these will be needed in the aftermath. Certain things will be necessary for survival. You can not expect help from government agencies for at least 3 days. That time is increased in an area hit hard by a storm. Remember Hurricane Katrina. Your survival is in your hands.
Battery operated radio
Lots of batteries
First aid kit
3 gallons of water per person
Extra water for sanitation
3 days of non perishable food (peanut butter, bread, cereal, dried fruit, nuts etc.)
3 days worth of clean clothes
Cell phone, fully charged
Personal ID for everyone in your group, including insurance cards
Infant care supplies, if needed
Pet supplies, if needed
These are just basic supplies to survive for 3 days, after a storm. Obviously, depending on the size of the storm, more supplies may be needed. Recovery from a hurricane can be a long drawn out process. It does not happen overnight.
Keep an evacuation notebook. This can be kept in an actual notebook or on CD. If it is on CD, loss of power will affect your ability to get to the information. This notebook should include personal information about everyone in your house. Doctors phone numbers, medical history, chart numbers, and medicine used daily. Include family contact numbers. It is also important to include county emergency contact numbers, such as police, fire, poison control, and the Coast Guard. Sit down and think of every possible catastrophe. Write down any agency or group that you could possibly need. Include their phone numbers. It seems like overkill, but it is better to over prepare. The purpose of this notebook is to have all the necessary information with you in case of an accident or emergency during the storm. These are also important during the aftermath. Countless injuries occur during cleanup.
Hurricanes are a fact of life. It pays to be prepared in advance. We have seen the mad rush for supplies before a storm hits. Avoid the rush, shop early. Don’t be left without the necessary supplies and information for your survival.