Hurricane Season will be here before you know it. Are you prepared? The official start date of hurricane season is June 1st. Awareness and Preparedness are important factors in staying safe during a hurricane. First, you need to know what each threat level means. Then how to best prepare for each threat level.
Hurricane Threat Levels:
Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
Preparing for a Hurricane:
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed. (Look for future posts on what should be in your disaster supplies!)
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Unplug small appliances.
- Charge all your important electrical devices (phones, laptops)
- Fill your car’s gas tank and any additional gas cans you have.
- Go to the bank and get extra cash - credit cards won't work if the power is out, and some businesses may not accept checks under these circumstances either.
- Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for. (Look for future posts on pet preparedness)
- Sign up for your local Office of Emergency Management, Police and/or Fire emergency alert system (information can be found on your city's website)
- Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.