Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer means sun, fun — and hurricanes

Photo courtesy iStockphoto
The summer months can bring both beautiful and dangerous weather. Hurricane Arthur’s recent trip up the East Coast, which caused flooding and canceled Fourth of July plans, shows the importance of being prepared for summer hurricanes.

In the U.S., people living and vacationing along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast are most likely to experience hurricanes. Hurricanes can cause high winds, flooding and even tornadoes.

Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to staying safe this hurricane season:
• Learn if you live in an area at risk for hurricanes. If you’re going on vacation, find out if the area you’re visiting is at risk for hurricanes.

• Be informed about your community’s warning system, evacuation routes and shelters. If you’re staying at a hotel in an area at risk for hurricanes, talk to the staff about evacuation plans for guests. Always comply with orders to evacuate.

• A hurricane warning means a hurricane is close. If a warning is given, cover doors and windows to keep them from breaking. Fill things like sinks and bathtubs with clean water in case water is not available. Finally, set your refrigerator on its coldest setting and fill your vehicles with gas.

• Know where to meet if someone gets separated or lost during a hurricane.

• Make sure your emergency kit is up to date and that supplies are ready to go in case you have to evacuate. Common supplies include three days of food and water, a first-aid kit, flashlights and lanterns, batteries and a battery-operated radio. For a detailed checklist, visit the Get Ready website

• If you are told to evacuate and have time, turn off gas, water and electricity. Lastly, make sure to help neighbors. 

To learn more about hurricane preparedness, read our Get Ready fact sheet.

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