If you knew that there was someone burglarizing homes in your area, wouldn’t you lock your doors? If you’re out and your cell phone was dying, wouldn’t you cut down on usage to reserve the battery? What if you ran out of shampoo, wouldn’t you buy more? These are every day things we do to prepare for potential disaster. Okay, so the cell phone and the shampoo aren’t normally considered disasters but to someone who likes to take “selfies” these and actually the combo of the two could be catastrophic.

We prepare for daily life before, during and after certain events. When anticipating a severe weather event such as a hurricane, the same thought process applies. For 2014, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center projected eight to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or more), with three to six becoming hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher) and of them, one or two becoming major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher). Below are just a few ways to plan for before, during and after a hurricane hits your home.

– Build an emergency kit and have a family communications plan.
– Cover all of your home’s windows. Your best bet is permanent storm shutters but if this is not an option, go for a 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood. Remember: Tape does NOT keep windows from breaking.
– Ensure all trees and shrubs around your home are trimmed to be more wind resistant.

– Avoid using your phone and battery power, except for extreme emergencies.
– Find a safe place in your home away from windows and any glass doors.
– Stay indoors.
– If the storm seems to have died down, remain where you are until you are advised otherwise. This could be the eye of the storm and winds will pick up again.
– If or when instructed by authorities, evacuate.

– Listen to the NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for safety updates.
– Use battery powered flashlights, NOT candles.
– Keep away from loose power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
– If you are unable to stay in your home, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).

Remember, these are just a few ways to prepare before, during and after a hurricane. For additional tips, check out ready.gov/hurricanes.

What happens when life gets in the way and you didn’t have time to prepare? Find out how to handle a hurricane when it’s no longer on the way, but it’s already here.


Tip Source: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

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