Before the start of hurricane season, around June, ask the nearest National Weather Service office if your home area might be imperiled. Most hurricane fatalities are caused by the storm surge. A storm surge is a huge dome of water that is driven ashore. If you live in a threatening area or a mobile home
or near a river or flood plain, be prepared to evacuate.
Check your local Civil Defense for a hurricane preparedness plan, which will include information such as shelter locations, what to bring to a shelter, and the safest evacuation route. Ask how long it will take to get to a shelter in peak evacuation traffic.
Inventory your personal property and stock up on emergency supplies. Your home owner’s insurance most likely covers wind damage, but make sure you have adequate coverage (hurricane insurance, flood insurance.) Store these important documents in a water tight case or container.
When a hurricane is coming…
Keep in tune to your radio or television for a hurricane watch announcement. This message informs you that there is a possibility of a hurricane. Be sure to listen for further advisories.
After a hurricane warning has been issued and announced, double-check your preparations. Anchor outdoor furniture and equipment or bring it indoors. Board up all windows and glass doors. Brace garage doors with 2 x 4’s. If you have a boat, moor it securely or move it to a designated safe area.
When leaving for a shelter, secure all window and door locks. Leave pets at home with plenty of food and water, most shelters will not allow you to bring pets. Take light folding chairs, blankets, and valuable documents.
If your house is inland, well constructed, and on high ground, you may want to stay home. When the storm begins, move to the downwind side of the house and keep away from windows and glass doors. There is a lull as the eye of the storm passes. Don’t mistake this for the end; fierce winds will return. Don’t go outdoors until local authorities announce that it is safe to do so.
Here is a list of hurricane supplies:
* Water (At least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days)
* Food (At least enough for 3 to 7 days)
* Non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
* Foods for infants or the elderly
* Special Items – for babies and the elderly
* Non-electric can opener
* Cooking tools / fuel
* Paper plates / plastic utensils
* Blankets / Pillows, etc.
* Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
* First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
* Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
* Extra Batteries
* A battery operated radio and NOAA weather radio
* Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional telephone set (non-cordless)
* Cash and Credit Cards (Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods)
* Toys, Books and Games (If you have children)
* Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight plastic bag
– Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Birth Certificate, Social Security card, etc.
* Tools (Be sure to keep a set with you during the storm)
* Vehicle fuel tanks filled
If you have a pet…
* Pet care items
* Proper identification / immunization records / medications
* Ample supply of food and water
* A carrier or cage
* Muzzle and leash