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Important things you should do to prepare for a hurricane

 How to prepare for a hurricane

If you are wondering how to prepare for a hurricane and reduce personal and property damage, this article might help you. Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North or South Carolina between Thursday and Friday. Many areas are at risk of devastating winds, rainfall, and flooding. Governors in Virginia and both Carolinas declared a state of emergency over the weekend. Moreover, National Hurricane Center said Monday that the storm’s effects could reach as far as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

To help people prepare for hurricanes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Red Cross, and other organizations have created guidelines about what to do and pack if a storm is approaching. Below are some of their recommendations.

Plan your evacuation route

In the event of a major storm, government officials ask families living on the coast to evacuate. It’s wise to create your evacuation plan before a disaster strikes. Try to find out ahead of time about the nearest shelters. Additionally, take your pets into account in your plan. Moreover, families should prepare their emergency kits (keep scrolling for a list of items to put in them). Agree upon a reunion point for your family, and pick someone out of state who your family members can contact if you get separated. Make sure to take important papers and write down important phone numbers and keep them in your wallet. Because, cell phones may die during a disaster.  how to prepare for a hurricane

List of Items in your Emergency Preparedness Kit 

  1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  3. Flashlight Available on the Red Cross Store
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) Available on the Red Cross Store
    Extra batteries
  5. First aid kit Available on the Red Cross Store
  6. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  7. Multi-purpose tool
  8. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  9. Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  10. Cell phone with chargers
  11. Family and emergency contact information
  12. Extra cash
  13. Emergency blanket Available on the Red Cross Store
  14. Map(s) of the area
  15. Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:
  16. Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  17. Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  18. Games and activities for children
  19. Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  20. Two-way radios
  21. Extra set of car keys and house keys
  22. Manual can opener
  23. Emergency Apps to Download Before Hurricane

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  1. Whistle
  2. N95 or surgical masks
  3. Matches
  4. Rain gear
  5. Towels
  6. Work gloves
  7. Tools/supplies for securing your home
  8. Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  9. Plastic sheeting
  10. Duct tape
  11. Scissors
  12. Household liquid bleach and sanitizers
  13. Entertainment items
  14. Blankets or sleeping bags

Find out where your local evacuation shelter is located

In areas at risk of hurricanes, emergency shelters will likely be set up before the storm. Moreover, you can contact local officials or FEMA to figure out where these shelters are. The Red Cross keeps a list of available emergency shelters, and you can search for open shelters by texting SHELTER and your zip code to 43362.  how to prepare for a hurricane

Prepare your home for heavy rainfall

Hurricane force winds can break windows and doors. Furthermore,  property damage associated with hurricanes occurs after the windstorm when rain enters structures through broken windows, doors and openings in the roof. Consequently retrofitting your home to protect against these possibilities is undoubtedly an expense, you can do it in stages.

Steps to protect your property 

  1. Replace gravel or rock landscaping materials with shredded bark, which is lighter and won’t cause as much harm.
  2. Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your house and keep shrubbery trimmed.
  3. Install storm shutters to protect your windows from breakage. Alternately, fit plywood panels to your windows, which can be nailed to window frames when a storm approaches.
  4. Make sure exterior doors are hurricane proof and have at least three hinges and a dead bolt lock that is at least one-inch long.
  5. Sliding glass doors should be made of tempered glass and, during a storm, covered with shutters or plywood. These types of doors are more vulnerable to wind damage than most other doors.
  6. Replace old garage doors and tracks with a door that is approved for both wind pressure and impact protection. Wind coming into your home through an opening this large poses grave problems for the rest of your home—especially your roof.
  7. Seal outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall. Use a high quality urethane-based caulk to prevent water penetration.
  8. If you live in a mobile home make sure you know how to secure it against high winds and be sure to review your mobile home insurance policy.
  9. If you have a boat on a trailer, know how to anchor the trailer to the ground or house—and review your boat insurance policy.

Prepare your car in case you need to evacuate, but do not drive through or walk in flowing flood water

Your car’s gas tank should be full before a storm arrives in case you need to leave your house. Lines get long at gas pumps ahead of a storm. Therefore, take this step as early as possible. If you’re anticipating an evacuation order, make sure that your car has an emergency kit stored inside.  how to prepare for a hurricane

Driving through floodwaters is more dangerous than it may seem — 12 inches of fast-moving water is enough to sweep away a car. Moreover, you can’t see the bottom of a flooded area. Therefore, avoid stepping into flood water. A storm surge contaminates water with bacteria and chemicals. There could be sharp objects like nails hidden from view, and puncture wounds can lead to tetanus or other infections. Downed power lines in the water may also expose you to electricity. And in some areas, you risk encountering snakes and fire ants in the water.  how to prepare for a hurricane

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