The lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30.
Here are a few tips for staying ahead of the 2014 Hurricane season:
1. Download the following app: The American Red Cross urges people to download the free Hurricane App to prepare as peak season nears.
2. Make an Emergency Car Kit: In case you need to leave quickly during a hurricane, always keep an emergency kit in your car, too.
3. Secure Your Home: Inspect your home for minor repairs needed to roof, windows, down spouts, etc. Trim trees or bushes that could cause damage to your home in case of high winds.
- If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
4. Make a Plan: Develop a Family Emergency Plan to include ways to contact each other, alternative meeting locations, and an out-of-town contact person. Identify a safe room or safest areas in your home.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
5. Pets: Update your pet’s ID tags if needed. Talk to your veterinarian about permanent forms of identification such as microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. You can also look into pet-friendly hotels, shelters or boarding facilities outside of the hurricane strike zone.
6. Stock Emergency Supplies : Plan for a weeks worth of non-perishable food and water. Be sure and have flashlights, extra batteries, battery-powered radio, medications, first aid kit, blankets, toiletries, diapers, etc. You may also want to prepare a portable kit and keep in your car should you evacuate.
- Make sure your cell phone and extra cell phone batteries (get them if you do not already have some) are charged before leaving or before the power can go out.
7. Protect Your Property : Review your homeowners insurance with your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate protection. Discuss your deductibles. Be aware that flood insurance in not typically covered under your homeowners policy. Flooding to your automobile is available under the Physical Damage coverage.
8. Take Inventory : Update your Home Inventory quickly by walking through your home with a video camera or smart phone. Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, when purchased and model and serial numbers as available.
9. Medicine: Be sure you are well supplied with any prescription drugs that you or your family take on a regular basis.
10. Have cash on hand: If you will be staying with friends, family, or in a hotel (don’t count on it, have a back up plan even if you’ve made reservations ahead of time)
- ATMs and banks may not be operating in the aftermath of a major hurricane and some credit card machines will be down.
- If you expect to be displaced, a family of four needs approximately $500 to last a week if you’ll be staying in hotels. You’ll need less than that if you will be staying with friends, relatives or in a shelter.