From the beginning of June each year to the end of November, people who live along the United States Atlantic and Gulf coasts, in the Caribbean or in Mexico or Central and even South America must brace themselves for another hurricane season. It can be a frightening time for these people, and for many, the memories of massive hurricanes such as Andrew, Camille, Katrina, Rita and others are still very much a part of their concerns during this time each year. No one can control the hurricanes themselves or when and where they will strike, but the more well prepared a person is, the better they will be able to deal with whatever circumstances they may have to face.
Preparing a hurricane plan is a great way to make sure that you are on top of everything you will need to do to get ready for any hurricane and that you have all of the supplies you will need. It can also help you know what to do when you need to evacuate or what you should do to protect your home.
*Consider necessary supplies –
Anyone who lives in a hurricane prone area should always make sure that they have a well stocked hurricane readiness kit. That includes all sorts of first aid supplies, hand sanitizer, lots of napkins, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, plenty of bottled water, non-perishable food and food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated after opening, batteries, flash lights, lanterns, a NOAA weather radio and other basic survival things.
Make sure that you have an adequate supply of any medications that family members will need. It is a good idea to stay on top of refills so that you always have a back up supply that can keep you going for at least a week. No pharmacy can fill your prescription if they don’t have electricity. Be sure you take your medicines in the bottles the prescriptions were dispensed in.
*Protecting your home –
Regardless of whether you will need to evacuate or not, if you are going to face hurricane force winds, you need to have a plan to protect your house. If you’re in an area where hurricanes are a constant threat, purchasing hurricane shudders is a wonderful idea. They may be expensive, but over the long run, you can save a substantial amount of money on your home owner’s insurance. Also purchase flood insurance because that is the only way your insurance company will pay for damage that is caused by water. Make sure that you have roof straps if you live in any type of modular home.
If you are worried about appliances or electronic equipment, either make plans to remove it from your home in plenty of time, or have a plan that can get these things to a safe place in your home. Unplug electronic appliances that are in places where flood waters may cause an active electrical wire to start a fire when it comes into contact with water. Turning these appliances off isn’t sufficient. They must also be unplugged.
*Create an evacuation plan –
Don’t wait until the last minute to create your evacuation plan. Have this planned out long in advance. Figure out where you will go, where you will stay and what you’ll need to have while you are there. Also gather all of your important papers and documents and put them in a waterproof and fireproof container. If you keep these documents in the same place all the time, you’ll be able to grab them easily if you need to leave.
Make sure that every member of your family has enough clean clothing on hand so that they can grab that if you need to go. If people take medications, make a list of everything each person takes, and make sure that you have everyone’s medications so that you can grab them quickly if you need to leave. Be sure you have all of your health insurance cards or other papers with you as well.
*Prepare your vehicle –
You should make sure that during hurricane season, you don’t allow your gas tank to drop too low. Whenever there is a likelihood that people are going to need to evacuate for a hurricane, people make a mad dash to the gas station and grocery store. In the case of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many gas stations sold out of gas very soon after the evacuation order was issued. Keep extra gas so that you can carry it if you need it. Also make sure that you have plenty of water and food in the car so that you can use that along the way.
*Have a supply of cash-
Many people fail to realize that one of the common happenstances with hurricanes (and with bad storms,) is the loss of power. When there is no power, it will be impossible to pay for anything with a credit or debit card. If you want to buy anything, you’ll have to pay for it with cash, if a merchant can even accept the cash. For that reason, having cash on hand and having all sorts of supplies is the key to being properly prepared.
Keep a list of important telephone numbers handy –
Having a list of all of your important phone numbers on hand will make it easier for you to contact anyone you need to contact. By the same token, you should have a cell phone with a fully charged battery and a spare battery, if possible. You might also want to invest in a car charger so that you can recharge your cell phone battery even if you are in a place where there is no power.
If you do have to evacuate, never drive through flooded areas. You can’t be sure whether the water will come rushing at you so fast that you can’t protect yourself. Never take risks with anything during a hurricane. Make sure that you’ve got plenty of batteries to power lanterns, flashlights and a weather radio. You should also have a good supply of insect repellent on hand because large quantities of rain and water always draw mosquitoes in massive quantities.
By planning ahead, you can avoid the stress of having to do everything in a mad dash where you may get careless or forgetful. If everything is ready in advance and you’re well supplied with food, water, games and other things for people to do, you may be able to live out the time when you are without modern conveniences more comfortably.