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How to prepare for hurricanes

No-one can control where or when a hurricane hits. A hurricane usually begins in the warm ocean waters and gains strength before hitting land. Hurricanes are often dangerous and can cause significant damage. Storm surges are the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States. They occur mostly along the U.S. coast and territories in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. The official hurricane season is from June 1st through November 30th.

What is the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning?

If a major storm is approaching, it is crucial that you pay attention to media updates and heed authorities' warnings. After a hurricane watch is issued, you could experience hurricane conditions within 36 hours. A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 24 hours.

Computer models allow forecasters to predict the amount of storm surge that will affect a coastal area. There are important ways to stay safe and minimize potential damage.

  • Be aware of your hurricane risk. Hurricanes are not exclusively a coastal problem.

  • Know your evacuation zone and where all the evacuation routes are.

  • Sign up for community alerts in your area and listen to the radio and television for the latest information.

  • Be aware of the emergency alert system.

  • Review and organize your important documents.

  • Fortify your home.

  • Gather supplies, including medication and emergency supplies

  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters. Remember the advice - Turn Around, Don't drown!

How do you prepare for a hurricane list?

Make a plan and include the following:

  • Prepare an emergency kit: Gather together a portable radio, extra batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, first-aid kit, toiletries, blankets, cash, and clothing.

  • Secure the exterior of your home: Trim large trees and shrubs in your yard and anchor anything that may blow around and serve as a projectile.

  • Install storm shutters: Protect windows, doors, and skylights by nailing plywood pieces to the window frames, closing with fitting shutters, or install impact-resistant glass.

  • Power up: Fill your car gas tank, charge your cell phone, test your generator, and have plenty of fuel-ready in case of power outages.

  • Unplug appliances: Move household fixtures away from exterior doors and window openings. Store them in closets and cabinets.

  • Locate essential documents: Find and store your important documents, such as birth certificates, financial papers, and insurance policies, safely and in waterproof containers.

  • Move your vehicles: Park cars and trucks in the garage and make sure they are not under trees, power lines, or in low-lying areas.

  • Identify a safe and secure location within your home or a shelter: The best place to protect yourself in your home would be on the first floor, in a central part of the house without windows. Avoid doors and unprotected windows until the storm passes.

  • Get a generator: to keep your refrigerator, freezer, and electricity going.

What to do during a hurricane?

  1. Stay away from low-lying and flood-prone areas.

  2. Always stay indoors during a hurricane since strong winds will blow things around.

  3. If you live in a mobile home, evacuate and go to a shelter.

  4. If your home is on low-lying ground, go to higher ground or a designated shelter.

  5. Evacuate if local officials send out an alarm.

  6. Warn your neighbors to get prepared.

How do I prepare for hurricane season 2021?

In preparation for a hurricane this year, get your necessary disaster supplies ready. Your kit should include the following recommended items:

  • Water: One gallon per person per day for three days. This water should provide enough water for drinking and sanitation purposes

  • Food: A three-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener

  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio and NOAA Weather Radio

  • Flashlight and sufficient batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Whistle (to signal for help)

  • Dust mask (to filter contaminated air)

  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (for when you have to shelter in place)

  • Personal sanitation supplies (moist towelettes and garbage bags)

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  • Cell phone with charger and backup battery

  • Phone numbers for family and friends

  • Local maps

Additional emergency supplies added by the CDC since Spring of 2020:

Masks for everyone (due to the COVID-19 Pandemic)

Hand sanitizer

Disinfecting wipes

Disinfectant Soap

Prescription medications

Non-prescription medications including pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medicine, antacids, and laxatives

Prescription eyeglasses or contacts and contact lens solution

Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream

Cash in case banks and ATMs are temporarily closed

Copies of Important family documents

Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Clothing and sturdy shoes

Fire extinguisher

Matches in a waterproof container

Personal hygiene items

Paper supplies, including paper plates and towels

Plastic utensils

Important Notes:

  • Update your kit yearly and adjust it as your family needs change.

  • Replace items that are expired

  • Store canned items in a cool, dry place and rotate them

  • Store boxed food in airtight plastic or metal containers

What preparations are made or taken in an emergency situation for hurricanes?

Designate a place in your home for your emergency supplies to grab and go if you have to evacuate. You could also keep an emergency kit in your vehicle as well as at work.

What to do after a hurricane?

Stay indoors until it is safe to come out.

Watch out for flooding, which often occurs after a hurricane.

Check for injured or trapped people without putting yourself in danger.

Do not attempt to drive in flooding water.

Stay away from standing water as it may be electrically charged due to downed power lines.

Do not drink tap water until officials say it is safe to do so.

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