Hurricane season began June 1 and forecasters are predicting a 45 percent chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, threatening both coastal and inland residents between now and the end of November. To help families stay safe, the American Red Cross is issuing the top six hurricane preparedness tips should a hurricane or tropical storm head for your community.
Over the past two years, parts of Florida have been devastated by storms and severe weather. Hurricane Matthew is still fresh in our minds and the Red Cross is asking people to take steps now to prepare their families.
Here are the top six things you should do to be ready for Hurricane Season 2017:
1. Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Be prepared to evacuate quickly and evacuate if told to do so.
2. Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area, and emergency contact information.
3. Get access to NOAA radio broadcasts. Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio in the Red Cross Store.
4. Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows. Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
5. Be informed. Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. If travel is in your plans, learn about how emergency situations are communicated at your destination.
6. Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for expert guidance on what to do before, during and after hurricanes as well as 34 other types of emergencies. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.
If someone already has a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If an emergency plan already exists for the household, family members should talk about it again so everyone knows what to do and where to go if an emergency occurs.
Visit here for full information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane
HELP FOR BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS
The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating™ offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans. More information about this valuable program can be found at readyrating.org.