Monday, June 01, 2009

Tis the Season Ten

Ten Things to Help You Prepare for Hurricane Season

Check and stock your first aid kit. Emergency service personnel are not permitted to respond to calls during a hurricane, so you should have some first aid supplies at home, as well as a good supply of any necessary medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how much medication you need to keep on hand in the event of a storm. If you're not sure what to keep in your household first aid kit, emedicine.com has some suggestions here.

Get a Weather Radio. A battery-operated 24/7 weather radio can keep you and your family informed after the power goes out and your phone lines are cut off. These radios are available at most electronics and discount stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc.; also online from companies like The Weather Radio Store.

Identify the "safe room" in your home. Broward County has a page here about how to determine which room is the one to use as a safe retreat during a hurricane.

Keep a hurricane tracking chart. Most major supermarket chains make them available for free; there's also one in .pdf format here that you can download from the NHC.

Know how to safely use a generator. The city of Fort Lauderdale has a page here with guidelines on how to safely operate a generator.

Know the Scale of the Storm. Hurricane intensity is currently measured from 1 to 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale; if you don't know what that means the NHC has an in depth explanation of the scale and each category here.

Make a family disaster plan. The National Hurricane Center has a page here with plenty of helpful advice.

Protect your home. FEMA has some brief guidelines here on how to prepare your property and home for a hurricane; USA Today also has some good info here.

Stock adequate emergency supplies for your home and family. The National Hurricane Survival Initiative has an excellent page here with checklists to download.

Understand what to do after the hurricane. Once you've been through a storm, you have more challenges to face with property clean-up, avoiding post-storm hazards, how to cope while waiting for restoration of power, water and contact, etc. Gomestic.com has an article here that covers most of the basics.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you!

    We moved into Hurricane territory a few years ago and while we rarely get hit with a full force hurricane, we also lack a lot of infrastructure, so even a tropical storm can be quite devastating.

    People laugh at us for being prepped for each hurricane that swings our way, but in 2005, the city was hit pretty hard. I don't want to be one of the casualties by my own hand.

    That and our water/power go out in moderate to heavy storms anyway, so we have water, flashlights, etc. About 8 times a year, we lose power for up to 6 hours.

    This is at least our last hurricane season, we're moving.( not for hurricane reasons.)

    Nico, stuck in Halifax a bit longer.

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  2. Most of these are good ideas for general disaster preparation, too. You may not see earthquakes and ice storms coming days in advance, but they can turn the lights out just as effectively.

    I'd also add a reminder to plan for your furry friends, especially if you might need to evacuate.

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  3. You mean you don't just stay in a state of continual preparation now? *g* Awesome resources.

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  4. Having lived through several hurricanes, can I add a few more tips?

    • If you're planning to leave the area, leave EARLY.

    During Hurricane Rita, many people were on the road for up to 26 hours. Hurricane Ike was better managed in that they opened both incoming and outgoing roads (in Texas) so that all lanes could be used to get out. Even with that, it still took many hours to get out of Dodge.

    • Get a crank-powered regular radio. The thing we missed most during Rita was information. It took radio stations a couple of days to get back online. They found only one tower was working, so DJs from every station in the area took turns manning the lone working station 24 hours a day.

    • Get a crank-powered lantern. It gets dark at night.

    • Gas and ice were in short supply. When it became available, if you didn't get up early, you went without.

    • Never ever leave your pets. They are your family too.

    • I could keep going, but there is one last tip I'd like to add. If you have kids, DON'T come back to the affected area until power is restored. It is one of the most miserable existences you can think of, especially if you've never experienced it before. There's no reason to put kids through that.

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  5. We don't really have hurricanes in NY but these are good tips for any disaster. Thanks.

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  6. That’s a great disaster prep list. I've never live near, nor seen a hurricane before, but that doesn't mean that a natural disaster can't happen anywhere. That reminds me, *runs off to check first aid kit.

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  7. We stock up on batteries. Also, check and see what your insurance covers.

    If you are more inland, you could end up with flooding which is not normally covered by insurance. Hurricane Fran hit central NC and caused flooding at hurricane strength. Lots of people lost their homes and insurance didn't cover it due to flooding damage from river levels above the 100 year flood stage and not wind damage.

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  8. I'm getting my kit ready, for home and the dayjob. My saferoom is somewhere else, after Isobel, when I almost lost the roof, I decided psycho and I will stay with friends.

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  9. Good Tips... nice posting...

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