Hurricane preparedness has been looming in our minds for quite some time. Living in Florida, it is a reality that every year from June 1 through November 1 is “Hurricane Season” – and I am unfortunately not speaking of the delicious beverage that bears the same name.
During the first few years living here in the Sunshine state, I had heard about hurricanes and I believe we may have gotten some rain and winds but thankfully nothing too severe. Then came Frances. We prepared and “hunkered down” with my parents and mother-in-law. I was newly pregnant with my oldest son. We actually told my mother-in-law that we were expecting over a candlelit dinner – the candlelight was not a mood-setter, it was because the power went out. From what I remember the power was out for one day, not bad considering there were many without power for days.
Then came Wilma the next year in October. N was only 6 months old. We prepared once again and I am so glad we did. Wilma did major damage in our area. Trees down, flooding, no electricity for almost a week (and we were lucky – some people went WEEKS without power). Lines at the gas stations were hours long. Thankfully we prepared.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
When I talk about preparing for a hurricane, it involves the following steps:
Stay tuned to the news. I check the National Hurricane Center’s website throughout the day when something pops up on the radar. Some people choose
What you need most in time of crisis is having someone to rely on. You need to know your community and your service providers. Power outages amidst Hurricanes are a significant problem and could cause serious confusion and even injury. Knowing you’re with the best electric company with efficient customer service who will quickly get the power going again will give you peace of mind when this happens.
MAKE A PLAN
Our plan includes:
- Deciding how we are going to communicate with our out-of-state family. Nowadays, texting is easier than talking on the phone because you can create a “group text” and inform multiple people at once about your safety.
- Create a fire escape plan that has 2 ways out of each room.
- Choose a meeting spot near our home.
- Choose a meeting spot outside of our neighborhood.
- Fill out this Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids and keep it handy in their backpacks.
BUILD A KIT
Our hurricane preparedness kit includes:
- Extra batteries for all of our flashlights
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable foods
- All needed prescription medications
- First Aid kit
- Manual can opener
- Gasoline for the generator
- Extension cords
- Electric and battery-operated fans (electric ones will be plugged into the generator)
- …and more! Here is a very comprehensive list for adults and one for kids.
If you have any elderly or people with disabilities in your neighborhood, see if you can help them prepare.
To get more information on how to make a family emergency communication plan, build a disaster supply kit or to learn how to get involved in community preparedness, please visit Ready.gov/MyPlan.
Have you been through a natural disaster? I hope not, but if so, what did you do to prepare for it?