Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30. NOW is the time to prepare, not 72 hours before the storm hits.
Here are some helpful hints, including a Disaster Kit Check-Off List for your use.
• Don't forget that public utilities will fail when a hurricane strikes. Utilities include electricity, natural gas, sewer services, storm water, telephone, water, internet access and cable television. It may take days or weeks before utilities can be restored. This will cause extreme difficulties that you must be prepared to endure. Ask yourself and your family now, "How will we survive without utilities for days or weeks?"
• A complete inventory of personal property will help in obtaining insurance settlements and/or tax deductions of uninsured losses. Inventory checklists can be obtained from your insurance representative. Don't trust your memory!
• It is a good idea to set aside certain supplies at home throughout the year in preparation for major emergencies or disasters. We recommend you keep them in a separate "Family Disaster Supply Kit" to ensure they are easy to find when you need them. Identify a safe room for storage of the supply kit. Don't forget to rotate and replace expired items throughout the year.
• Remember, after a hurricane watch is issued, there is usually a very high demand and short supply of many items.
• Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supply Kit in the trunk of your car.
• Keep items in air-tight plastic bags.
• Change your stored water and food supply every six months.
• Review and inventory your kit and family needs at least once a year. Don't forget your pets' needs. Replace batteries, clothes, etc. Keep your kit fresh and up to date.
• Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
• Create a list of "can't live without" items that you would want to grab in a moment's notice if you have to evacuate in a hurry. Each member of the family should be allowed a few items (keepsakes, photo albums, etc.) that will fit in the car with you.
• You may want to have at least one telephone that works without electricity. These phones are easily identified as they have a single phone line and do not require a power supply cord. The phone may be stored until needed or plugged in a spare phone jack.
Go to www.READY.gov for more information.
Check out these links for more information:
The Red Cross www.redcross.org
The National Safety Council www.nsc.org