Hurricane Preparedness Week

FEMA designated May 15 – May 21, 2016 as Hurricane Preparedness Week.  You can find the full explanation at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html.  Whether or not you live in a hurricane prone area, the advice given here actually applies to virtually any natural disaster.  It also applies to individuals and businesses alike.

Determine Your Risk: Most storms are forecast well in advance of their arrival.  Determine if you are in the path of the storm and pay attention to how much damage can be expected.  Water, electricity and phones are the most likely to be impacted.  Consider and begin preparing your options.

Develop an Evacuation Plan:  Severe storms force evacuation, and those evacuations are often mandatory.  Where will you go – friends, family?  Maybe it is time for that vacation you have been putting off.  If driving, fill up with gas and maybe an extra jug or two.  Leave before it becomes mandatory.  The roads will clog and you will burn a lot of wasted gasoline.

Secure an Insurance Check-UpDo you have flood insurance?  Is it covered by a hurricane?  How much are you covered for?  Take pictures of your valuables.

Assemble Disaster Supplies:  Whether you evacuate or shelter in place, you will need water, food, medicines, cash and other life essentials.  Stock up early to avoid the rush.  DON’T FORGET YOUR PETS!  Plan for several days with access to stores or supply sources.

Strengthen Your Home:  Clear out dead trees and secure items prone to flying.  Board up your windows and sandbag your doors.  If you have streams nearby, consider clearing out potential flow obstructions.

Identify Trusted Sources of Information:  NOAA weather radios are always good to have.  Many areas now have local alert notification services.  In NY go to www.NYALERT.gov.

Complete Your Written Hurricane Plan:  Where will you go?  How will you get there?  How will you communicate with other important people?  What do you need to take/have with you?  What are important phone numbers?  Documents?  Insurance Policy Number(s)?  Distribute those plans to trusted friends and family.

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