National Preparedness Month: Hurricane Safety

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By: Amanda Northcutt

Though the summer may be winding down, Hurricane season is just reaching its prime. While the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, the peak season continues from mid-August to late October. It can be easy to forget about Hurricanes as the weather turns colder, but take the chance this National Preparedness Month to update your family’s preparedness plan.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
    • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
    • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
    • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
    • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.

You should evacuate under the following conditions:

  • If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

Download the American Red Cross official hurricane app:

A hurricane tracker app from the American Red Cross is now available for iPhone and Android. The app helps you monitor conditions in your area, prepare your family and home, find help, and let others know you are safe even if the power is out. Learn more about the apps features here (https://redcrossresults.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/new-red-cross-hurricane-app-released/) and download it today from the iTunes or Google Play app stores!

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