If you live in the hurricane prone Southeast United States, being prepared for a tropical storm can mean the difference between life and death. In this article, we’ll discuss four basic steps you can take to prepare your family for the potential of an oncoming hurricane. During hurricane season, which in the United States stretches from June through November, homes in coastal communities all along the Southeast try to prepare for the threat of these terrible storms.
Tip #1: Prepare an Emergency Kit
A well stocked emergency kit is a valuable tool that can save lives in the event of a hurricane. Your emergency kit should be stored in an easily accessible location and in a watertight container. The most critical items in any emergency kit are first aid supplies, essential medicines, flashlight, handheld radio, extra batteries, emergency phone numbers, cash and credit cards, extra keys to your home and vehicles, insurance cards and policy information, and a hand crank cell phone charger. Some other items that you might want to store with your emergency kit would be canned food and a can opener, a supply of bottled water, blankets, seasonal clothing, toilet paper, hand sanitizing gel, and diapers and canned formula if you have an infant in your home. Also, it’s important to remember to refresh your emergency kit on a regular basis to be sure any perishable items haven’t expired.
Tip #2: Have an Emergency Action Plan
When a hurricane strikes, will your family know what to do? Have a plan of action in place, and be sure that every family member knows where to go and what to do when they get there. Your emergency action plan should cover each family member’s roles and responsibilities, what to do if you have to evacuate, as well as plans for your pets.
Rehearse the plan with younger children so that they won’t forget the most important details. And last but not least, give a copy of your plan to nearby relatives or a neighbor, so they will know where you are and how to contact you in.
Tip #3: Stay Informed
Knowledge can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. When you do know that a storm could be heading your way, stay informed by watching local news broadcasts or listening to the radio. Many types of media are also now offering free texting services, where you can sign up to receive text messages about important news and weather events in your area, making it easier to stay informed when you’re on the go.
Tip #4: Do As You’re Told
Last but not least, in the event of a hurricane it is absolutely imperative that everyone follows the advice of law enforcement and government agencies, even if that advice is to evacuate. The last thing anyone wants to do is leave their home, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
While these four tips may seem simple, it’s amazing how many people living in hurricane prone areas don’t take such basic steps to protect themselves and their families. With a little time and forethought, it is possible to be well prepared for the possibility of a hurricane. Remember, advance preparation is the key to saving lives, and when you consider that your family’s well being is at stake, nothing is more important.