The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1. According to forecasters at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there will be another above-normal hurricane season this year. The forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms, of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes, including 2 to 4 major hurricanes.Even without the threat of hurricanes, summer’s weather hazards include tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, and flooding. Now is the time to start preparing for inclement weather. Here are some tips to get you started:
Make a Family Emergency Plan
FEMA has a great basic plan to get you started. Have an out-of-town contact for your family members to call; it is easier to reach someone out of town. Arrange a meeting place in case you are separated. If you have school-aged children, include their schools’ contact information in your plan.
Stock Up on Shelf-Stable Meals
Stock up on canned items (or any foods with long shelf lives that can be kept in the pantry) and paper goods (no one wants to run out of toilet paper during an emergency!)
If you or a family member is disabled or a senior, look for a meal delivery program. These programs will deliver meals to you, even in bad weather. Select a program that provides shelf-stable meals to use as emergency food, in the event of severe weather, when roads are closed and delivery trucks can’t get through. (For more tips in selecting a home-delivered meals company, download this ebook.)
Emergency Supply Kit
Make sure to have at least a 7-day supply of you and your family’s medications. Keep a list of all medications along with dose, frequency, and contact information for the prescribing doctor, as well as write the name and phone number for your pharmacy. If you are a caregiver for a senior, keep the same list for their medications and pharmacy. It is also a good idea to keep back-ups of wheel chair batteries, oxygen, and other medical devices on hand. Include the information for those items on the back of the medications list.
If you have pets, stock up on food and medicine for your animals. Include your veterinarian’s contact information in your emergency plan. Make sure pets wear ID tags that include your cell phone number. If you get evacuated, take your pets with you.
Depending on the area you live, some other disaster preparedness items that might be helpful are a flashlight and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries for both!