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A Hurricane is on the Way...Are You Prepared?

Flood Insurance

Hurricane season runs from June through November and while it primarily affects the coast, recent storms have shown the importance of being ready even if you’re inland a few hundred miles.

There are several things you can do to prepare yourself and your family for an upcoming storm. You can keep tabs on what is being reported by the National Weather Service and your local news, so you know when it’s time to buckle down and implement your plan. Here are some tips to help you get ready for a severe weather event.

GET YOUR KIT TOGETHER

Do you have an emergency kit already? It’s kind of like your “go bag.” You can grab it and go (or shelter in place) and have everything you need. Your emergency kit is good for any emergency and can be used if you’re stuck at home without power after a storm or have to evacuate.

FEMA has an extensive list for the suggested emergency kit, but you can make your own pretty easily. Think about the things you need for a few days without electricity, WiFi or your household goods. Your emergency kit may look a lot like what you’d normally pack in the car during PCS season.

  • Make sure you have these essentials though:
  • Enough water and food for each person for up to 5 days, including pets!
  • Medication, a first aid kit, and any medical equipment needed. This includes contact lens solutions, denture products, baby wipes, diapers, etc.
  • A weather radio, flashlight, and enough batteries to keep them running.

PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR A HURRICANE

After you’ve taken care of what your family will need during a hurricane, double-check that your home is also ready. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Secure all outside items, even those you think are too heavy to blow around. Remove any tree limbs that are close to the house.
  • Fill a tub, or extra gallon jugs, with water for flushing toilets.
  • Put up hurricane shutters (or plywood) if you have them and have time to safely secure the windows.

HAVE A PLAN

Having a plan before you need it is the best way to ensure your home and family stay safe throughout a hurricane. Start by deciding where the safest place to ride out a storm is in your home. It should be a centrally located room with no windows.

Shutters should be a planned element of any vulnerable home. Permanent fasteners should be installed long before storm warnings, so panels can be put in place quickly and time can be spent focusing on the needs of your family and pets.

Why you need to protect windows and doors:

  • Keeping wind and water out is critical to home survival.
  • Protective barriers keep glass from breaking, and possibly injuring occupants.
  • More importantly, they keep wind-driven rain from soaking the home's interior, and reduces the chance wind pressure will build up inside, looking for a way out.
  • Breached windows and doors often = loss of roof.

If you don’t have a windowless room — don’t be afraid to shelter in a closet! — you can make an area safer by turning tables on their sides, bringing mattresses into this room to cover yourself and even keeping some bicycle helmets in the room during the season to protect little heads.

Your plan should include a safe evacuation route and where you’re heading. When the call comes to evacuate, don’t hesitate! You can prepare for evacuation as soon as the storm is forecast by grabbing some cash and filling up your vehicles with gas.

Make sure your plan includes your pets. As not all shelters allow pets, and pet-friendly hotels fill up quickly, you’ll want a plan in place long before you need it.

The most important things are to be aware of the weather conditions in your area, put safety first and be prepared.

Source: FEMA https://www.fema.gov/