The hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. Unfortunately, it only takes one storm to cause a tragedy. People need to develop family disaster plans and compile kits with necessary supplies to be prepared. Your family should develop a plan and know how to stay safe in a hurricane. Educate yourself on the scale rating of Hurricanes. They are rated on a scale from 1-5 depending on the winds. Most importantly, prepare your family. Discuss what you should do when a hurricane comes onto land and where you might go in the event of an evacuation. Don’t forget about your pets. Identify a person in another state or city to serve as a point of contact in case family members are separated.
Before a Hurricane forms, be sure to prepare an emergency evacuation kit. The kit should be in an easily transportable container and stored in a safe place. It should include non-perishable foods and water; a radio and flashlights with batteries; matches; a first aid kit with bandages, tape, scissors, and medications; a manual can opener; an emergency phone list; hygiene and personal care items; and cash or credit card. Make sure your homeowners and flood policies are up to date. It is also a good idea to take video or photographs of the furnishings and items inside of your home to have with you in the event of a loss.
Once the storm has been forecasted in your area, stay tuned to the weather channel for up to date information. Board windows and brace the doors on your home. Fill your cars with gas and make sure you have plenty of cash on hand. Move boats, trailers and extra vehicles, if time permits, out of the path of the storm. Secure outdoor furniture, awnings, garbage cans and other items that can become projectile in violent winds. Tape over and seal all soffit vents and roof vents to prevent wind-driven rain from splashing into the vents and flooding the attic.
You should be prepared to evacuate. If you are directed by local authorities to do so, be sure to follow their instructions. Evacuate if you live in a mobile home, temporary structure, or a high-rise building. If you live on the coast, near water, or on a floodplain, you will more than likely be ordered to evacuate. If you are unable to evacuate, go to a safe room and stay indoors during the hurricane, away from windows and glass doors. When a hurricane has come and gone:
* Stay away from dangling or downed power lines and accumulated pools of water
* Boil water before drinking it
* Discard food that may have spoiled
* Make emergency repairs to prevent further damage to your property if possible. Save receipts.
Some of the information provided from Travelers Insurance in their “Tips for Preparing for Hurricanes” brochure. Author has rights to distribute as an Independent Travelers Agent.