Every year, a number of hurricanes and tropical storms are predicted to occur. Especially if you live along the Atlantic seaboard, hurricanes are more likely to head your way. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that has winds of 74 miles or 119 kilometers per hour or greater and is usually accompanied by rain, thunder and lightning.
Hurricanes can cause great damage and even deaths. Throughout history, various hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and Hurricane Edward in August 2008, have claimed a number of lives and caused damage to a lot of properties. But as in every disaster, you can ward off the danger of a hurricane by being informed and prepared. Today is the right time to get ready. You should not wait until the day of the storm before acting. The following are some of the simple measures that you can take to help you and your family in preparing for the hurricane season:
- Plan ahead. Together with your family, develop a plan that will help you to stay as safe as possible. Discuss the ways each family member will respond in the event of a storm or hurricane, and have everyone know a safe location where you can stay during the disaster. If you live in a coastal or low-lying area, you might be a candidate for evacuation during extreme hurricane events, thus it is important that family members know a point of contact for emergency situations or in case you are separated before or after the storm. Make sure you all have the contact details of that point person.
- Prepare your food supply. Stock up enough food and water to last for at least a week. It is advisable that you have non-perishable food that requires no refrigeration or cooking. Your emergency food supply can include canned goods, staples including sugar and salt, canned juices and high-energy food.
- Create a disaster supply kit. Items such as batteries, flashlights, ropes, plastic bags, battery-operated radios and bad-weather clothing should be stocked up, as they can be useful for your safety at home or when you evacuate. You should also prepare a first-aid kit and necessary medications.
- Secure your home. To prevent damage, you can modify your home to make it more secure to weather storms so you can be as safe as possible. A day before or during the storm, you should board up your windows or install storm shutters. Secure objects that might tear loose or blow away in your yard such garbage cans, outdoor chairs, potted plants, toys, signs, and garden tools. Also, remove limbs or tree branches that could damage your house or utility lines.
- Keep your vehicles gassed up. It is important that you fill your car's gas tank to safely travel in case you need to evacuate.
- Monitor for the latest weather updates and other emergency information and statistics. Tracking news and other advisories from the national hurricane center through radio or television will help you prepare if there is a need to evacuate and leave your house.
A hurricane is one of the most dangerous disasters. Nevertheless, we can reduce its damages and prevent the loss of lives by being prepared. You should always be ready in case a hurricane is set to come in your area.