Hurricane Safety Tips: What You Need to Know
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
by Kwin Mosby
The 2017 hurricane season ends on Nov. 30, but unfortunately, this stormy weather shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon with Hurricane Irma expected to hit the Florida Keys on Sunday between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., according the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And this week, families in Houston and the surrounding area, are in recovery mode after Hurricane Harvey’s devastating aftermath. From displaced residents to stranded travelers, our hearts go out to you during this unfortunate time. There’s nothing more unnerving than the uncertainty of weather and how it might affect you and your loved ones.
Because your safety is the utmost importance to us, if you’re a resident or stranded traveler in the path of Hurricane Irma, we urge you to follow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines to allow yourself enough time to pack and inform friends and families if you need to leave your home or wherever you may be staying. You should also refer to the American Red Cross’ helpful list, too, which provides info on the difference between a hurricane watch and hurricane warning as well as what you should do during a hurricane.
Vacation also wants you to be prepared! We’ve listed a few tips if you’re caught in a hurricane as well as FEMA’s list of emergency supplies that you should consider as you prepare for the hurricane.
Stay away from windows. A basement without windows is the best option.
WHAT TO DO IF A HURRICANE HITS
(*only if stranded, otherwise evacuate area!)
- Listen to the TV and/or radio to track bulletins and updates. Follow the directions of authorities if an evacuation is mandated.
- If asked to do so by authorities, turn off utilities including water, electricity and propane tanks.
- Stay indoors at all times. Close interior doors and secure exterior doors.
- Stay away from any windows. A basement without windows, the middle of a room, in a closet or under a heavy piece of furniture (in case roof collapses) are all ideal places to take shelter. A basement without windows is the best option.
Take important family documents (copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records...
EMEREGENCY SUPPLY LIST
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water – 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation.
- Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First-Aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist novelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cellphone with chargers and a backup battery
- Prescription medication
- Glasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Important family documents (copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container)
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person