Along the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, hurricane season is still in force. Although the storm season has been light in the Atlantic region over the past few months, October is still at the height of hurricane season. According to NOAA, October is the third busiest month for hurricanes. Since October is a transition month in many warmer tropical climates, weather can be unstable and lead to severe storms gathering momentum and tracking across the Atlantic region. In fact, two of the ten most costly hurricanes to hit the U.S occurred in October. In October of 2012, hurricane Sandy ravaged the northeast U.S and caused enormous damage across multiple states. Ongoing hurricane awareness and individual preparation is important throughout this month and through November. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your ongoing storm preparedness.
You should keep an emergency preparedness kit on hand year round, but make sure to update the kit from time to time. At least twice a year, check the kit to ensure that the food items in the kit haven’t expired and that medical items are in good condition, batteries and flashlights work, and that your kit is provisioned sufficiently for your needs.
Making sure that emergency kits are customized to specific disasters and stocked to sustain you and your family for 3-7 days. While updating your emergency kit remember that your response kit is only as good as your individual response to a storm. Monitoring weather reports and storm forecasts is the next critical things to keep in mind for the remainder of the season.
Not everyone chooses to evacuate during a hurricane, but if the storm is severe enough and evacuation is a viable option, having a response plan in place is a good idea. Hurricanes have a tendency to overwhelm and grow beyond their predicted proportion, so maintaining an emergency last resort evacuation plan can be an important component of storm preparedness.
Even when evacuation is not a necessity, having a response plan to ride out the storm is essential. Knowing where the local storm shelters are located and post disaster resources is important to the recovery process. During the storm itself, be sure to relocate to a safe part of the house away from exterior windows and doors and protect yourself from wind damages.
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A big part of preparing for a hurricane is making sure that your home is adequately resistant to high winds and flying debris. Floods are also a byproduct of hurricane winds and rains, so taking measures to guard your home and possessions against rising waters is critical as well. Install storm shutters or board up windows in preparation for a storm. Flood barriers can help mitigate some water damage, but if the storm is severe enough and impacts your home directly, flooding may be unavoidable. Here, it is best to remove or relocate valuables that could be affected by rising water. Relocating items to higher levels or moving them offsite to a more secure location in advance can help preserve them. Take every precaution when preparing your home for a hurricane. Damages are usually inevitable, but reducing the extent of damages is the objective.