Friday, May 27, 2011
Do you know how to prepare for a hurricane? Now’s the time to get ready
For starters, it’s good to know if you are at risk. In the United States, people who live along the East and Gulf coasts are more at risk of hurricanes than the rest of the country. More than 1.8 million homes along those coasts are at high risk of hurricane damage, according to a report released this month. Hurricane season in the Atlantic region, which is where most of the hurricanes that affect the United States travel from, runs June 1 to Nov. 30.
Weather officials are constantly on the watch for new hurricanes. Once a hurricane forms, officials estimate the path it will travel and the intensity of its winds. Meteorologists rank hurricanes based on the speed of the winds. Category 5 is the most destructive, with winds greater than 155 miles per hour.
To be ready for a hurricane, you will need emergency supplies for you and your household. Make sure you have at least a three- to five-day supply of water and nonperishable foods. Include prescription medicines, baby supplies, pet supplies and any items for special medical needs. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio and flashlight in case you lose power. You will need to stay informed of any weather alerts, especially if an evacuation is required. Place an emergency kit in your car, so supplies will be accessible in case you need to evacuate.
Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes in advance and decide where you will stay once you evacuate. If you know a hurricane is a possibility, make sure your car has a full tank of gas and set aside some cash, in case power knocks out ATMs. Never ignore warnings to evacuate.
For more hurricane preparedness tips, check out the new Get Ready fact sheet on hurricane preparedness, available both in English and Spanish. You can even add your own logo to the fact sheets and share them in your community.
Photo courtesy: iStockphoto, choicegraphix