Hurricane preparedness guide
Tropical storms like hurricanes occur every year. Hurricanes have the potential to be very powerful and destructive storms. The National Weather Services says that, on average, 12 different tropical storms will form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season every year. Of those storms, six will turn into hurricanes. Knowing how to behave before, during and after a hurricane can save lives and reduce injury risk. The following are important safety guidelines to follow during hurricane season.
• Evacuate if the call is made. It can be tempting to try to be a hero and stay home when an area is being evacuated. However, when weather officials recommend evacuation, heed those warnings. It can be difficult for emergency personnel to reach people who stay behind, and that can greatly delay care and divert resources needed elsewhere.
• Consider the storm surge. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries. Even if you think you are far from the coast, heed warnings about storm surges.
• Keep a list of contacts. Keep contact information for emergency management offices, county law enforcement, state law enforcement, local hospitals, and more at the ready. Keep it handy with other hurricane supplies.
• Evaluate and know your flood risk. FloodSmart.gov is a portal for flood risk in particular areas in the United States. See where your house falls so you’ll be armed with accurate information should a storm arrive.
• Stockpile emergency supplies. Water, nonperishable foods, batteries, flashlights, phone chargers, battery-powered radios, blankets, rain slickers, and rain boots are just some of the items to include in a hurricane readiness kit.
• Have a plan in place. Know where family members will meet up in the event a hurricane blows in. Be sure to plan for locations away from home if evacuation is necessary.
• Gauge safety before returning. Wait until an area is deemed safe before heading home or venturing outdoors. Downed power lines, debris, standing water, and other after-effects of hurricanes can be hazardous.
By exercising due diligence, people can weather hurricanes and quickly get on the road to recovery. TF198169