Preparing for a Hurricane

Hurricane PreparednessLiving in the Gulf Coast means beautiful scenery, fun beaches, and lots of sunny weather. Sadly it also means living with hurricanes and the destruction they bring. It’s important for families to be prepared for the physical damage hurricanes bring. From securing a home to being ready to evacuate, it’s never too early to prepare for hurricane season.

First off, it’s important to prepare your home. Secure any items outside like toys, decorations, and trash cans (and encourage your neighbors to do the same). If it isn’t tied or anchored down, the item can be picked up and become a high-speed projectile. Contrary to popular belief, tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Consider installing permanent storm shutters, which offer the best protection. If storm shutters aren’t an option, then secure windows with 5/8″ marine plywood.

Second, create an emergency plan for your family. Find out if your home is in a floodplain. Don’t forget to check what levees and dams could break in your area. In the days leading up to a hurricane pay close attention to evacuation orders and instructions. During a natural disaster it’s easy to become separated from family. It’s important to pick an out-of-town family member or friend who separated family members can contact to relay information. It’s also important to designate a meeting place to gather if you are evacuated and/or become separated (a friend’s or family’s members house on high ground is best).

Third, assemble an emergency kit that could be easily grabbed and carried. The kit should have three days of supplies (clothing, food, water, medicine etc) for all family members. Emergency rations should be considered since they provide needed calories and vitamins in a small easy to carry package. An emergency kit should also have duck tape, emergency blankets, a first aid kit, cash, and photographs of all family members.

While it’s not fun to think about, preparing for the worst ahead of time may be life-saving later. Assembling needed materials, preparing your home, and creating an emergency plan are all necessary steps to be ready for a Hurricane.