Before hurricane season begins:
> Educate yourself on the risks of hurricanes in your area. Is it subject to flooding and/or evacuation? If evacuation is normal for that area, learn where the closest evacuation centers are and the quickest routes to them. Find places to safely board pets.
> Create a family disaster supply kit. Include things like a disaster plan, a map for alternate evacuation routes, and a battery powered NOAA weather radio.
> Trim trees and shrubbery and remove any dead trees. Repair loose shingles, facia, and siding on the home or out buildings.
> Review insurance coverage and obtain flood insurance if needed.
> Take inventory of personal property. Use a video recorder, if possible. Store important documents and tapes in a safe place such as a bank safe deposit box.
When the watch is issued:
> Begin monitoring the storm closely.
> Gather supplies that will be needed and may not be available for a few days to a week or more after the storm: medications, cash, water, and nonperishable foods.
> Fill automobiles with fuel.
> Clear the yard of objects that will be blown away such as toys and lawn furniture. Secure any objects that may not be moved to safety.
> Install hurricane shutters or plywood over windows.
> Fully charge all rechargeable batteries.
> Turn refrigerators and freezers up to highest settings and keep doors closed as much as possible.
When the warning is issued:
> Rush final preparations to completion.
> If needed, begin evacuation plans.
> Notify out of state contacts where you will be during the storm.
> When evacuation orders are issued, do so immediately.
During the storm:
> Once power is lost, do not use candles as a light source. Turn off major appliances to reduce power surge when power is restored.
> Stay inside, away from doors and windows.
> Reassure children often and keep them entertained as much as possible to lessen their stress.
> Continue to closely monitor the progress of the storm.
After the storm:
> Remain where you spent the storm, if safe to do so, until officials issue the all clear.
> Ignore rumors, stay calm, and wait for official information.
> Beware of floodwater. Snakes and insects may be more aggressive due to the storm.
> Don’t sight see, keep roadways open for emergency personnel.
Early preparation, combined with common, sense will go a long way in keeping you and your family safe before, during, and after the hurricane.