Be prepared for tropical storms by knowing the facts:
Ensure you have a way to receive warnings – a NOAA weather radio, the AccuWeather app on your phone or the radio/television. Sign up for alert notifications that are specific to your town or region.
Know your local hurricane evacuation route(s), as well as shelters outside the evacuation zone.
Make sure your vehicles are in good working condition and able to make the potentially several hundred-mile trip.
Put together a "go bag" for each member of your family, including pets, that includes clothes, toiletries, medicines and anything else needed to survive comfortably away from home for several days.
Put together a general emergency preparedness kit:
Water (1 gallon per person per day)
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help if trapped in debris
Battery-powered weather radio with extra batteries
Know the difference!
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the next 48 hours. Stay tuned into alerts and look over evacuation route. Double-check emergency preparedness kit.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. If in the evacuation zone, it is time to evacuate to a safe shelter outside the evacuation zone with your family and pets. Stay in contact with family and friends using phones or social media to let them know you're safe.
Preparing your home before hurricane season starts:
Take pictures of your property, inside and out. This will come in handy if/when talking to insurance companies about storm damage.
Purchase a generator and make sure it works ahead of time as electricity can be out for weeks after a hurricane.
Cut down any trees or branches that could fall or be blown into the house.
Store bottled water in case water becomes polluted or unavailable.
Clear out drains and gutters to keep them from flooding when it rains heavily.
Bring inside any outdoor objects that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds.
Unplug electronic devices and turn off utilities as directed to do so by authorities before evacuating.
Large pets or livestock that cannot be taken with you when evacuating should be evacuated well ahead of time, so it's important to have a plan in place for this.
Board up all windows to prevent broken glass.
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By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants,
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants, Inc.
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