It’s Hurricane Season. Are you Prepared?
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30th and the 2018 hurricane season is expected to be more active than average. Climatologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict the season will bring 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine reaching hurricane strength. Of those, they predict one to four of them will be a major hurricane (category 3 or higher). In an average year, there are 12 named storms.
The 2017 was especially active with 17 named storms, 10 of which reached hurricane strength, including Hurricane Harvey.
There’s no guarantee for where storms will make landfall, or how intense they will be, so it’s important to make sure your family is prepared in the event a hurricane heads your way.
Make Your Emergency Kit Now
People tend to flock to grocery stores and clean off the shelves right before a storm. You can beat the crowds, and make sure your family gets the essentials they need, by putting together an emergency kit now. Store these items in a bag or container that’s easy to grab in case you need to leave in a hurry.
- Water. Keep a 3-5 day supply of water in case you don’t have access to clean water after a hurricane. Plan on at least 1 gallon per person, per day.
- Non-perishable food. Stock up on canned goods, peanut butter and other non-perishable foods that are safe to eat without cooking, in case you have an extended power outage. Don’t forget to include a manual can opener.
- Flashlights. Pack a battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries.
- Cell phone charger. Add a phone charger in case you have to evacuate in a hurry. Or, if you stay put, a solar-powered charger, portable crank charger or backup battery can help keep you connected if the power is out.
- First aid kit. Keep first aid supplies handy in case someone gets hurt.
- Sanitation supplies. Add cleaning supplies, garbage bags, moist towelettes and paper towels to help keep things clean if there’s no water.
- Cash. Without power, you won’t have access to the ATM and many stores won’t be able to take your credit or debit card. Keep some cash on hand, just in case.
- Important documents. Make copies of important papers, such as the deed to your home, insurance policy and birth certificate, and place them in a waterproof bag.
- Pet supplies. If you have pet, include a stash of food and medications for them.
- Kids entertainment. For children, include a small supply of coloring books, puzzles or toys that require no electricity. These can be a relief if you’re stuck at home without power, or you have to evacuate.
Know your Evacuation Route
Always follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders. Before a natural disaster, review evacuation routes for your area and plan a path that works best for your family.
Create an Emergency Communications List
Give everyone in your family a contact card that can be kept in a wallet, purse or backpack. It should list emergency and other important contacts. It’s not enough to keep these numbers in a cell phone that can become lost or damaged.
Decide how you will get in contact with each other during a disaster. Try designating an out-of-state contact as your communication hub. If disaster strikes, make sure everyone in your family knows to call this person to let them know they are safe.