Preparing for a hurricane or tropical storm, and following the advice of officials, is the best way to ensure the health and safety of your family during an emergency.
Hurricanes: Facts at a Glance
• The key threats from an approaching Tropical Storm or Hurricane are WIND, STORM SURGE, FLOODING, and the potential for TORNADOES.
• Hurricane WINDS can reach 74-95 mph for a Category 1 storm, to above 155 mph for a Category 5 storm.
• The STORM SURGE is a dome of water the hurricane pushes ahead of itself. At its peak, a storm surge can be 25-ft. high and 50-100 miles wide. The storm surge can wreak havoc as the water pushes into rivers and tributaries, causing water levels to rise.
• The thunderstorms and torrential rains that accompany a hurricane can create dangerous and deadly FLOODS or FLASH FLOODS.
Use the Following Guidelines to Start Preparations
Create a plan. Identify ahead of time where you will go if you evacuate. Meet with family to discuss the need to prepare for a disaster, and explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Discuss the types of disasters most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “Family Contact”. It’s often easier to call long distance after a disaster. Family members call this person to “check-in.” Everyone must know your contact’s phone number.
Prepare your pets by making sure collars are secure and have current identification. Put together a pet disaster kit that includes medical records, veterinarian contact, leashes, bowls, litter, and a photo of your pets. Keep your pets close by bringing them inside well in advance of a hurricane so you don’t have to search for them if you have to evacuate.
Locate important papers and have them ready to take with you should you need to evacuate, or protected in plastic storage bags if you’re remaining in your home. Driver’s licenses, social security cards, proof of residence, insurance policies, birth and marriage certificates, and photos of your home (exterior and interior) should be included.
Basic emergency supply kit:
Water (one gallon/ person per day for at least three days)
Non-perishable food items (minimum three-day supply) and manual can opener
Battery powered radio/ flashlight and batteries
Any prescription medications
Local maps and evacuation routes