The Atlantic and Caribbean Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. So although this is a great time to enjoy our beautiful state, it’s also a good idea to take steps before a storm strikes.
According to a 2013 survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel, few Americans living in coastal counties have taken necessary action to prepare for severe tropical storms and hurricanes. Only about half of those surveyed have an evacuation plan or a plan for communicating with family members if they are separated. Nearly a third of people did not have an emergency kit with supplies.
“Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” said Larry French, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. “It’s important that families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and download the free Red Cross Emergency App to help make it through the next storm safely.
Prepare Before The Storm
Hurricanes are powerful and dangerous storms that often bring heavy rain and flooding. Destructive winds can down power lines, uproot trees, or damage homes. On the coast, storm surges can travel several miles inland, destroying everything in their path. Even inland communities can experience hurricanes, often with powerful winds and widespread flooding.
Some things you can do to prepare:
- Pack a survival kit – Items include a gallon of water per person, per day, on-perishable, easy-to-prepare food items, flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible), First aid kit, and medications. Learn more at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family.
- Make a disaster plan for your family, and practice the plan.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App, which includes information on Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light, and alarm. Its one-touch “I’m Safe” button tells family that you’re okay. Visit redcross.org/mobileapps
As hurricane season approaches, it is important to know the difference between the threat levels.
- A Hurricane Watch - conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s then time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.
- A Hurricane Warning - conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s then time to complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
Learn more about hurricane preparedness at redcross.org.