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Hurricane Preparedness List

The Atlantic Hurricane season started at the beginning of June and will last until the end of November (and with the Atlantic getting warmer, experts say that season is expanding). During this time period, an average of 6.3 hurricanes hit the United States each year. With winds blowing at an average of 75 miles an hour, these tropical storms can wreak devastation wherever they come ashore. So here are some tips as to what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

Gather Supplies from Hurricane Preparedness Checklist Before the Storm

You should plan your evacuation route to get out of town and out of the path of the hurricane. Actually, it’s a good idea to make this plan well in advance of hurricane season. You should go ahead and make arrangements as to where you’re going to go and with whom you’re going to stay.

Having a communication plan is important too. Determine how your family and friends will stay in contact and how you will get emergency alerts. In addition to television and radio notifications, your community may offer text or email emergency notification systems.

Supplies are just as important. Make sure you have the following in your disaster supply kit:

  • Water
  • Food (preferably single-serve cans of fruit or ready to eat meat)
  • Sterno for cooking
  • Baby supplies (if you have an infant)
  • Sanitation items
  • First aid kit

You’ll want to ensure that your home is prepared as well. Trim or remove trees that could potentially fall on your house, install storm shutters, inspect your roof, and consider purchasing a generator.

During a Hurricane

You need to make sure you are listening to updates so you know what is going on. Listen to what the officials saying. They may give instructions like evacuate the town or just stay in a safe place in your home – so, keep your TV or radio on. Remember, a hurricane watch is issued if a hurricane is possible in your area within 48 hours. A hurricane warning is issued if a hurricane is expected in your area within 36 hours.

Fill up your gas tank, charge your cell phone and pack emergency supplies and a change of clothes in case you need to quickly evacuate. If you’re staying at home, make sure you have food, water and emergency supplies.

Bring items like outdoor furniture and garbage cans inside and anchor down anything that would be unsafe or difficult to bring inside, like a gas grill or playhouse. Then, make sure all windows are covered. If you don’t have permanent storm shutters installed, cover your windows with 5/8-inch exterior grade or marine plywood.

Make sure you get to a safe location. If there’s no need to evacuate the town, then find a room in your house with no windows. This is the safest place.

After a Hurricane

No matter whether you evacuated or stayed at home, you need to wait for updates and instructions from the authorities before returning or leaving your location.

When it’s safe to enter or exit your home, avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Fast-moving water can sweep your car away, and even 6 inches of flood water could knock you off your feet. In addition, flood water may be electrically charged from fallen power lines and could contain other harmful debris.

If there’s damage to your property, take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage and save any repair estimates or receipts. If you need to file an insurance claim, take pictures to assist in the filing process. However, your safety is the number one priority, so take caution when taking pictures. Finally, compile a list of damaged personal property to help expedite the claim process.

And of course, you need to call medical help for anyone who has been injured during the event.