2011 Hurricane Preparedness

by admin July 5, 2011

 

Keeping your family, business and property safe this season


 

The 2011 hurricane season is well under way, officially beginning in June and will extend to November. As Florida residents, we are subjected to the repercussions of hurricanes and tropical storms year after year, and properly preparing for them is key.

 

To prepare and protect your family, businesses and property for hurricane season, become familiar with the following steps from Ready America:

 

Three Steps for Hurricane Season Preparation:

 

1.  Be Informed: The first step in proper preparation and planning is to be informed about hurricanes. For example, knowing the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning is critical. According to the NOAA National Weather Service, a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning are defined as:

 

Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

 

Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

 

It is also equally important to be familiar with hurricane hazard forms including tornadoes, lightning, storm surge, high winds and flooding.  Make sure to carefully look at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare appropriately, according to Ready America.

 

2.  Build a Kit: Get an emergency supply kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car incase you are told to evacuate. Also, be prepared to survive on your own after an emergency.  This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. For more information on how to build your kit, check out “Get a Kit” from Ready America.

3.      Make a Plan: Be sure to make plans that will cover all of your bases, including family, business and property.

 

Family: Prepare your family by creating a custom family emergency plan that includes contact names, numbers, meeting places, evacuations plans, utility shut-off and safety.

 

Business:  The best way to improve the likelihood that your company will survive and recover after the hurricane is to create a disaster plan. For more information on how to prepare a business plan, please visit Ready Business. Property: Follow the tips below to ensure your property is protected:

·        Hurricanes can cause heavy rains that cause extensive flood damage in costal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection.

·        Cover all of your home’s windows with pre-cut ply wood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.

·        Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.

·        Keep all shrubs and trees well trimmed so that they are more wind resistant.

·        Turn off all utilities as instructed

·        Turn off propane tanks

·        Consider installing a generator for emergencies

 

 

There are many great resources available to assist you in hurricane preparedness. In addition to Ready America, used above, below are additional resources specific to Florida.

 

Alachua County- www.alachua-em.org

Florida Division of Emergency Management- www.floridadisaster.org

 

 

Photo and Image Credits:

 

Freedigitalphotos.net- George Stojkovic

Freedigitalphotos.net- Digitalart

Freedigitalphotos.net- m_bartosch

 

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