Hurricane Preparedness & Planning: Ways To Plan For a Hurricane Emergency

House destroyed by storm surge of the 1915 Gal...

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Hurricanes Don’t Care Who You Are Or What You Are

That’s right you know, it doesn’t matter how old you are, what you’ve done with your life or how “important” you are, when a hurricane strikes we’re all created equally . . . but don’t think that there’s nothing you can do about it because there are plenty of ways in which you can prepare for a hurricane emergency.

The Hurricane Planners – Be Prepared

Hurricane survivors are the ones who have a plan, not a cunning plan for world domination but a survival plan, a plan A, plan B, plan C if necessary, and they share those plans with loved ones and family, so that everybody has an increased chance of surviving a hurricane, both themselves and their properties.

Hurricane Survival does take some planning, there’s so much to think about . . . the children, extended family and loved ones, property, pets, community . . . I think we need to look at this in a little more detail.

Family Hurricane Plan

The problem with any type of plans is that although they seem important at the time of making them (and these plans really are very important), they soon get forgotten. No, really, it’s true, “I’m sure Dad said something about the cellar, the dog and some kind of emergency route, but can’t actually remember where I was supposed to go”. Well, there’s one way to make sure that everybody is kept up to date with the Family Hurricane Survival Plan – write it down!  What sort of stuff should your hurricane disaster plan include?

  • Talk about what hazards could actually affect the family and your home. How vulnerable is your home, is it in an area with a high risk of flooding? Is it particularly vulnerable to the wind? What about storm surge . . . are you in a coastal area? Different areas have different types of problems associated with hurricanes, know where you live and the particular dangers you face.
  • Which is the safest place for you and your family to head for in case of a hurricane emergency? This might be a room or area in the house, it might be somewhere else in the community. Talk about this and make sure that everybody knows where to head to in case of a hurricane.
  • What about if the hurricane happens when you’re not all at home? Hurricanes don’t wait until a convenient time you know, they can happen at any time of the night or day so make sure that your family knows the best escape route from your home and you all have a pre-arranged meeting place. Don’t make it “Granny’s house” if she lives 300 miles away, somewhere within around a 10 mile radius makes much more sense.
  • It’s always a good idea to have a point of contact who lives out of state . . . someone who is unlikely to be affected at the same time as you are. That way all family members have a single contact point in case of a hurricane emergency. (Granny’s house 300 miles away might come in handy for this one).
  • Don’t forget to make a plan about how to deal with any family pets during a hurricane emergency.
  • Make sure that there are emergency telephone numbers close to all of your telephones, and that your children know all about 911 and when they should call it.
  • Have a pre-made Disaster Kit stocked with emergency supplies and non-perishables. You’ll need plenty of water in this too, food, emergency medical supplies . . . I’ll cover that a bit later on.
  • Check out your insurance cover . . . is your property covered on homeowners insurance against hurricane damage – probably not!
  • Make sure that the batteries in your NOAA weather radio have got plenty of power, change them regularly just like you do with the batteries in your smoke detectors (or should do).

Hurricane Disaster Supply Kit

A Hurricane Disaster Supply Kit is something which needs to be prepared and ready before the hurricane season starts. It’s no good running around trying to find suitable stuff for your survival kit when the storms already hit, make sure that you have a hurricane disaster supply kit available at all times, keep it up to date and make sure that everybody knows where it is. What sort of stuff do you need in your hurricane disaster supply kit?

  • Water – yes, you’ve heard the saying “water water everywhere and not a drop to drink”, well if a hurricane hits and disaster strikes in the form of flooding, storm surge or anything else, the chances are that you will be surrounded by water but it will certainly not be safe to drink. Make sure that you have at least 1 gallon of safe drinking water per person for anything up to 7 days . . . that’s a lot of water.
  • Food – non perishables, but don’t forget things like tin openers (non electrical), snacks, paper plates and utensils, fuel for cooking or heating your food.
  • Pillows & Blankets – you might be stuck for a few days so you need to make sure that you can sleep as comfortably as possible.
  • Clothing – seasonal clothing – waterproofs, sturdy shoes and boots.
  • Toiletries – moisture wipes and so on, it could get pretty stinky without them.
  • Flashlight with working batteries – keep the kids away from these. Why do kids insist on playing with flashlights during the day time, so that when it gets dark and the flashlight is actually needed the batteries have gone flat. It’s one of lifes mysteries I suppose.
  • Special stuff – if you have any babies or elderly people in the household then these need to be accommodated for.
  • Cell phones – ditto the batteries like the flashlight . . . don’t let the kids spend their day playing the games on the cell phone so that when you need to make a call it’s flat. Sorry kids, play “I spy”.
  • Toys, games, books – on second thoughts, that should keep the kids away from the flashlights and the cell phones whilst they are keeping safe from the hurricane . . . good thinking.
  • Tools – you never know what types of maintenance jobs you may have to do while during a hurricane emergency.
  • Documents – you should keep a copy of all important documents in a waterproof or watertight container or bag . . . social security card, bank account numbers, medical records, insurance etc. etc.
  • Radio – a battery operated NOAA weather radio will keep you up to date with all of the latest hurricane emergency information.
  • Cash & Credit Cards – well, you can’t be sure how long it will be before the ATM’s are working again can you?
  • Pet supplies – if applicable of course . . . food, carrying cage, leash, muzzle (if necessary) . . . don’t worry too much about muzzling the canary!
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