By: Terry E. Reese, Jr.
Hurricane season is here and for those of us on the Gulf Coast this means it’s time to hope for the best, prepare for the worst and try to enjoy our beautiful beaches in the meantime. If you’ve never been on the coast during hurricane season it can be daunting when your first named storm is projected to reach you.
Should you stay or evacuate? What utilities and other services will be available after the storm? How can you protect your family and your home? While each person’s approach may vary, here are some basic preparations the experts agree on.
First, have a plan. It’s important your family is on the same page when it comes to how you will handle emergencies. Everyone in the family should know what the plan is, where to find a copy of it and what events “activate” it. You should have a plan for how to communicate with each member of the family. Phone trees can be helpful when communicating to extended family and close friends. Next, you will need to ensure you have a “hurricane box”- a box containing critical supplies your family will need. Click here for a full list, but here are some of the most overlooked items:
- Prescription medicines and eyeglasses
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Battery-powered or hand crank weather radio (even if you have an “app” for this; cell towers and internet access may be affected by the storm)
- Waterproof bag containing matches, copies of homeowners insurance and flood insurance policies
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Games and activities for young children (and extras for the young at heart)
- Your local emergency management agency’s hotline number
Also, it is a good exercise to imagine your home with eighteen inches of water inside. What items would be ruined? Your home computer? Your wedding album? Sentimental items are often the greatest loss and can sometimes be saved just by placing them a little higher off the ground.
A hurricane is a terrible event but it can be made to have less of an impact on you and your family with a little preparation.
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