Hurricane Preparedness—Things to Remember When Disaster Threatens
Advance Preparation Ensures You're Ready for the Storm Long Before it Arrives
Hurricane Preparedness Articles
- 7 Step Hurricane Preparedness Plan
- Hurricane Hazards and Risk Factors
- Make a Hurricane Evacuation Plan
- Hurricane Preparedness Kits and Supplies
- Hurricane Insurance Checkup and Updates
- Prepare Your Home for Hurricanes
- Help Neighbors with Hurricane Preparedness
- Complete Your Hurricane Preparedness Plan
- Emergency Preparedness Tips
- How to Prepare for a Power Outage
- 10 Tips to Survive a Hurricane Disaster
- FEMA Recommends a Generator
- Hurricane Disaster Preparedness
They often begin as an innocuous-looking cluster of clouds and thunderstorms across the Atlantic about 4000 miles from the coast of Florida. What’s to worry about so far away? The start of a hurricane that formed over Africa and made its way over the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. With the right atmospheric conditions, a little luck (on the hurricane’s part), and plenty of energy from the ocean, the small cluster of thunderstorms can grow into a monster storm like Hurricane Maria.
We let forecasters worry about thunderstorms 4000 miles away. If they do grow into a cyclone, it will take days before they reach the Caribbean and even longer to reach the United States coastline. News reports alert us to possibilities of landfalls and storm force winds or maybe rip currents while the hurricane is still far offshore.
Then the NHC issues a hurricane warning with less than 36 hours to prepare. It's often like that with any weather emergency. Forecasters let us know they are keeping an eye on something and then it arrives with only a day or two notice. With so much to do and so little time to do it, how does anyone get ready?
Prepare in Advance
- Everything you do ahead of time becomes one less thing to worry about when a storm appears just over the horizon.
- A portable disaster bag allows you to grab it and go without spending time packing it or ensuring you didn’t forget anything. Lay everything out on a table, then choose a watertight bag to pack it in.
- Perform Maintenance on Portable and Standby Generators. Stock up on Maintenance Kits, Parts, and Oil.
- A copy of all important documents including those kept at home and in your safety deposit box. It won’t hurt to scan everything and store the images on your Disaster Plan Flash Drive. Buy an adapter to plug a flash drive into your phone or tablet, take photos of all your documents, and store them on the flash drive.
- Take photographs of your home, inside and out, and document all your inventory. Store the photos on your flash drive.
- Pack sturdy hiking shoes and a helmet into each personal disaster kit. Each person should have shoes, a helmet, and at least two pairs of dry socks.
- Fill up vehicle fuel tanks. Rotate stored fuel supplies into vehicles and refresh supplies for portable generators.
- Store a paper map of your area in a plastic zipper bag and pack it into your kit. Mobile GPS might not work during the disaster.
- Put 100 one-dollar bills in a plastic zipper bag to store in the kit. One-dollar bills are easy to spend, and you do not end up giving away a five, ten, or twenty because someone did not have change.
- Pack a backup supply of any medical necessities. They may be hard to find after a disaster or prohibitively expensive. Stores may stay closed for extended periods.
- Backup Power Source for your cell phone. Also, include a charging cable that you can plug into a USB port or a wall outlet. Small, efficient Portable Inverter Generators offer easy use, great portability, and quiet operation.
- At least a two-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications. Always replace your emergency supply with every prescription refill to keep it fresh.
- Engrave a Medical ID Bracelet or USB Emergency ID Band with important medical and contact information. Keep this on your person. Add pertinent medical information to your USB ID.
- Mini Emergency Kit for School. Packing it into the child’s school backpack is one way to ensure they have it at school and wherever else they take it.
- ID Bracelet or USB Emergency ID Band with contact and medical information. Store important Medical Information on the USB Drive.
- Favorite toy or security blanket. Especially important for younger kids.
- Install a home-standby generator. Don’t forget that FEMA recommends that every home have a backup source of power. Standby generators run automatically in every kind of weather. No fuel to store or transport, they operate on natural gas or propane.
- Keep everything in a vehicle-friendly disaster kit. When it is time to go, just put it in the trunk or cargo area and leave.
- Flood insurance. There is a thirty-day waiting period, so don’t wait.
- Make a plan for your pets. Don’t leave them behind or forget to provide for them.
- Take a photo of you with your pet to prove your ownership. Print a copy for your records and keep it with your important documents. Store a copy on your Disaster Flash Drive.
- Keep your Pet’s vaccination records, including rabies, on with your important documents and put a copy on your flash drive.
- If you must evacuate, take your pet with you and go someplace they accept pets. Don’t leave them behind. Know where you can take your pets in the event of an evacuation. Remember that pet care requires advance preparation.
FEMA Recommends a Generator as Part of Every Home and Family Disaster Plan