Hurricane Plan Hurricane Evacuation Hurricane Season

It’s the peak of this year’s hurricane season and the coastal states are anxiously waiting for the next update from the National Hurricane Center. A train of hurricanes is relentlessly approaching from the south and east, threatening to disrupt the lives of millions of people. As a nation, we have learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina. For the millions affected by the coming storms, it now appears that we have finally learned to be prepared.

Once a tropical storm appears likely to develop into a hurricane, hurricane watches and warnings are continuously broadcast throughout the coastal states. Red hurricane warning flags with distinctive black squares appear in the ports and marinas. Every few minutes, a hurricane update is broadcast on the local and national news and weather channels. Radio stations and television keep the public informed and warned with the latest predictions of the storm’s winds, category, and its probable track for making landfall. The time has come for coastal residents to prepare for the worst.

Families living in coastal states and low-lying areas that are prone to suffer the devastating winds and waters of a hurricane are advised, and sometimes ordered, to seek shelter well inland, away from the coast. Before a hurricane’s storm surge strikes, it’s a good ideal to get far away from the canals, swamps, lakes, marshes and bayous of the coastal wetlands. If prior hurricanes have taught us anything, it’s that survival can depend upon being as far away from the storm surge as possible. You can always return after the storm has passed to rebuild, as many people have been doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

If you live along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf States, it’s a good idea to create a hurricane evacuation plan. Like any plan for an emergency, you should think about what resources you will need when, not if, you are going to leave your home and seek shelter. Your plan should begin with an evacuation fund, or money to pay for travel, food and lodging and subsistence expenses such as doing laundry and purchasing first aid and personal sundries.

You should also include a list of contacts and their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. It can be very difficult to recall this information when you are under a great deal of stress, so it’s best to write it down. Your list should include the telephone numbers of you local police, hospital, and emergency service agencies as well. You might want to contact these heroes soon after the storm has passed to find out when you can return to your home.

Every family member should have a copy of your evacuation plan in their possession, in case you become separated from them. The plan should identify the address of your preferred gathering point, the telephone number at that location, along with the names of anyone that may be able to lend assistance. Time and time again, information has been proven the key to survival. Make sure that everyone in your family has it.

If you choose to ride out the storm in your home, be sure to prepare for a power loss. That means having plenty of fresh drinking water, a way to prepare food, a well-stocked first aid kit, a radio and back up batteries on hand. Once the alert is given, the wise person will pay attention and begin to secure the home and follow the instructions of the authorities. It’s smart to have a family hurricane evacuation plan ready to follow. If not, you should at least follow the direction to evacuate when given by the local authorities and be grateful for their service.