Hurricane season on the Atlantic coast lasts from June 1st through the end of November. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the highest risk of a major storm falls between mid-August and late October. Hurricanes can cause storm surges, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds and rip currents. Are you ready to evacuate or shelter in place for days without power or access to food and water? If not, now is the time to prepare your home and your family. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gives us three steps to get prepared.
Step 1: Put together a kit of emergency supplies. It is a good idea to make one kit to shelter in place and another “Grab and Go” kit to use in an evacuation. The kit should include at least three-day supply (experts are recommending preparing for 5-7 days) of the following in a clean garbage can or backpack:
• Water, one gallon per person per day
• Non-perishable food and a can opener
• Medications, at least a 7 day supply of prescriptions
• Radio, hand crank or battery powered and extra batteries
• Flashlight and batteries
• First aid kit, fire extinguisher
• Whistle to call for help
• Dust mask, plastic sheeting, duct tape
• Garbage bags
• Personal care items
• Wrench to turn off utilities
• Supplies for Pets
Step 2: Make a Plan for Emergency
• Who can help in an emergency, know your neighbors
• Identify an out of town contact for family members to check in
• What are the options for an evacuation route?
• Where will family members meet?
• Make a family communication plan.
• Keep your important documents in one place to take with you.
Step 3: Be Informed
• Know what kind of emergencies may affect your area.
• How will you keep informed? Radio station, TV
For a more complete list of ways to prepare for a hurricane or other natural disaster go to www.ready.gov or call Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley at 860-767-0186 for a helpful guide.