National Preparedness Month: Hurricanes

Are you ready for disaster to hit?

Are you ready for disaster to hit?
A Coast Guard search and rescue crew from a St. Louis, Mo., based Disaster Area Response Team drags their skiff to a launching point on South Carrollton Avenue in New Oreans to look for people in distress. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class L.F. Chambers.

“Big” is an understatement when used as a descriptor of a hurricane. “Massive” or “dangerous” is perhaps a better way to characterize a hurricane.

A hurricane is classified as a cyclone with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph. They have been known to tear down homes, break levees, and destroy whole towns or cities.

This year, hurricane season began May 15 in the Pacific and June 1 in the Atlantic, both running until November 30, which makes this the prime time to remind everyone to maintain preparedness during hurricane season.

In conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, here are some basic tips to help you prepare:

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

Click here for more tips on how to prepare your home, hurricane watch, warnings and how to make a hurricane plan.

To keep an eye out for hurricanes near you or around the country, visit the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center.

Before disaster strikes, maintain awareness, readiness and be prepared.

A NASA image shows Hurricane Sandy heading for the east coast of the United States October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy wrought severe damage to New Jersey and New York creating $71.4 billion in damages. Photo by NASA.

A NASA image shows Hurricane Sandy heading for the east coast of the United States October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy wrought severe damage to New Jersey and New York creating $71.4 billion in damages. Photo by NASA.

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