As a resident of a state that is on the East coast, hurricane season is something we know is on its way. We know it is from June 1st to November 30th. Even though it is a yearly occurrence, you might not always remember what you should have and know in case we are in the path of one of these storms.
- Portable radio, cellphone, TV or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor conditions. Make sure you have chargers, spare batteries or rechargeable battery packs for devices.
- Know your evacuation route and have a plan to move to another location in case of evacuation or extended power outages.
- Put gas in your car and generator before the storm begins.
- Build an emergency kit with a supply of water (one gallon per person per day); non-perishable, easy to prepare food; first aid-kit; battery-powered or hand-crank radio; flashlights and batteries; multipurpose tool; sanitation and personal hygiene items; extra clothes; copies of important documents in a zip-lock bag; cellphones and chargers; extra cash; emergency contact information; blankets or sleeping bags; and a map.
- If you have pets, make sure you have a supply of water and pet food and prepare collars, leashes and carries for transport. Make sure you have rabies vaccination documents or tags and have your pet wear an ID tag, if possible.
- Homeowners who depend on well water should draw an emergency water supply in case power to electric water pumps is interrupted.
- Bring inside anything that could become a projectile in high winds. Anchor anything too big to bring inside.
- Find an interior room on the lower level of the building or home to wait out the storm unless directed to evacuate.
Officials also asked that people create an emergency plan ahead of storms, including: how to contact or find each other; setting two meeting places (one near home and another outside the neighborhood); what evacuation routes to take; pet-friendly motels and animal shelters along the route; and planning alternative routes in case roads are blocked or washed out.
Members of every household also should know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning to be able to plan how and when to respond.
A hurricane watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued and stay informed.
A hurricane warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s time to complete your storm preparedness and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
Tropical storm watches and warnings: Take these alerts seriously. Although tropical storms have lower wind speeds than hurricanes, they often bring life-threatening flooding and dangerous winds.