With summer upon us, the looming threat of hurricanes is also underway. Atlantic storms typically bring torrential downpours, high winds, power outages, floods, and more. These dangerous and severe conditions make a proper emergency plan critical for your safety and survival.Now is the time to protect yourself and your family. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help with this simple list of tips.
Know Your Evacuation Route
While different storms may call for different evacuation routes, being ready for an evacuation won’t just help to keep you safe in a scary situation, it will provide you with peace of mind before it ever happens. Since many communities have designated routes, the first step is to know your zone based on your location, which you can do through many sites like this one for Florida residents. And family meeting spots will also be important. From neighboring towns and landmarks to out-of-state relatives that may have room for you and your family, designating a destination is critical.
Pack a Supply Kit
Mandatory evacuations can happen at a moment’s notice, and an emergency supply kit that is packed and ready to go will prepare you for what may lie ahead – or keep you safe inside your home in the event of a power outage or flood. Some items you should consider packing include; gallon jugs of water, non-perishable food, medications, a first aid kit, flashlights, blankets, extra/warm clothing, a manual can opener, a lighter and matches, a battery-powered radio, a cooler with ice packs, and a waterproof container for any important family documents.
Protect Your Home and Pets
While you can’t prevent damaging winds and storm surges from happening, there are some steps you can take to prevent more destruction when it comes to your home. Trimming trees and shrubs and clearing rain gutters are great places to start, as well as boarding windows, reinforcing garage doors, and clearing or securing any light and loose patio furniture. And don’t forget about your pets. You may want to create a disaster kit for them as well, and even consider a buddy system with neighbors in the event that you’re not at home when disaster strikes. Having contact information on hand for local shelters in your area is also a good idea.
Stock up on Shelf-Stable Meals
With the unpredictability of hurricanes and other storms, canned items and dry goods are an emergency must-have for you and your family. And if you or a family member is disabled or a senior, designating a plan and support network that includes meals, can help prevent panic and confusion. Consider choosing a meal delivery program that will deliver in virtually any situation - or weather condition - and one that specializes in emergency food.
Remember, planning ahead doesn’t have to be complicated, and it will give you and your family more options and a better sense of control when you need it most.