Friday, August 26, 2011

5 for Friday: Hurricane Prep

Top 5 Hurricane Prep Tasks

The East Coast doesn't get hit with hurricanes often (and rarely do they hit NYC, which is where I am) and many of us that will be affected are probably not versed in hurricane prep so I thought this important information would be appropriate for my Five for Friday post.  Be prepared and Be Safe!
According to the National Hurricane Center, Disaster Prevention should include:
  1. Developing a Family Plan
  2. Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
  3. Having a Place to Go
  4. Securing your Home
  5. Having a Pet Plan
One of the most important decisions you will have to make is "Should I Evacuate?"

If you are asked to evacuate, you should do so without delay. But unless you live in a coastal or low-lying area, an area that floods frequently, or in manufactured housing, it is unlikely that emergency managers will ask you to evacuate. That means that it is important for you and your family to HAVE A PLAN that makes you as safe as possible in your home.

 
Disaster prevention includes modifying your home to strengthen

 
FAMILY DISASTER PLAN
  • Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. National Flood Insurance Program
  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

CREATE A DISASTER SUPPLY KIT - These are the items you should consider including:
  • Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
  • Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days — non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices — foods for infants or the elderly — snack foods — non-electric can opener — cooking tools / fuel — paper plates / plastic utensils
  • Blankets / Pillows, etc.
  • Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
  • First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
  • Special Items - for babies and the elderly
  • Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
  • Flashlight / Batteries
  • Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
  • Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
  • Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
  • Keys
  • Toys, Books and Games
  • Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag — insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
  • Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
  • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items — proper identification / immunization records / medications — ample supply of food and water — a carrier or cage — muzzle and leash
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PLACE TO GO

It is not only important to arrange for a place to stay away from the hurricane evacuation zone, but it is also very important to make arrangements with family and friends to meet someplace in case anyone gets separated.  Don't wait until the disaster occurs - make sure it is all clear before anything happens so you can better plan.  This is a good rule of thumb for ANY dangerous situation like a fire, severe weather, environmental or building hazard or anything else that puts your lives at harm.

SECURING YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY

First make sure you have all insurance info and check your policies to make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. Then make sure you take appropriate measures to secure your home.  For detailed info on what you can do to prepare, go to the National Hurricane Center's website here (or click the links in the top 5 list).  Even if you are not directly in the hurricane's path, the excessive winds can be extremely damaging in nearby areas.  Outside, bring all loose and light weight objects indoors and make sure all larger items are secure.

HAVE A PLAN FOR PETS TOO

Decide whether or not you need to put pets in an animal shelter, out of harms way.  If you do take them to a shelter, make sure you arrange for their stay ahead of time and make sure to have all proper ID and papers required by the shelter.  You should also put together a disaster supply kit for your pet(s) to include food, water, medications, ID, cage and even some small toys to comfort them.

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Most of this info is from : http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml but I thought it was important enough to share.  Also keep an eye on http://www.weather.com/ for up to date info for all hurricane related weather news.
I hope you all are not effected too badly by this and any other hurricanes this season.

Take care and be safe,
Sprout

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