Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Preparation the Best Possible Way

With the landfall of Hurricane Irene on the Atlantic coast, it is important to know the best possible way to prepare for such a devastation because the next storm may make landfall where you are.

The coastline of the United States, especially the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, is regularly battered by hurricanes, about five on average, with the most devastation ones occurring approximately every 3 years.  These storms bring about a lot of heavy wind, with gusts as much as a hundred miles per hour along with water surges reaching as high as twenty feet.      

These cyclones are extremely dangerous; therefore, it is important to prepare for their onslaught, especially during Hurricane Season, which is from June 1 to November 30.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for the worst possible scenario when hurricanes come:

Be Aware and Beware

Know and understand that each hurricane is different, so preparing for the worst possible is the best option since it makes you prepared and pro-active. 

Make a List and Check it Twice

List all outside items and determine which ones you think should be brought inside when a hurricane hits.  This includes outdoor tools and equipment and lawn furniture. 

Trim the Landscaping

Try to keep shrubbery and trees trimmed.  This prevents unnecessary entanglements, including of electric wires, caused by tree branches or the like.

Clear and Drain

Ensure that the gutters and drains are appropriately cleared.  This helps prevent further flooding, especially during long periods of heavy rainfall that usually accompanies strong hurricanes.

Use Shutters Specifically Designed for Hurricanes

Using permanent door and window shutters is much safer than simply taping all the glass as this does not prevent the glass breaking.  Plywood is also good for protecting windows. 

Plan for an Evacuation

Develop an evacuation plan.  You can find the best source of information from your local emergency management office or the Red Cross.  They may be able to provide you with the route for evacuation as well as nearby shelters. 

Stay tuned to local radio and television stations as they also have vital information regarding evacuations.  If there is a mandatory evacuation, do comply as doing so will make it easier for the Red Cross and Emergency Management personnel to do their job.

Prepare Blankets

Have sleeping bags and blankets ready in case you need to rush to a shelter. 

Think About Your Pets Too

Know in advance how to take care of your pets.  Many pets were abandoned during Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.

Gather Necessary Emergency Supplies   

Prepare supplies beforehand.  Supplies should include flashlights, batteries, a radio, water and food, first aid kits, and a can opener. 

Also, turn your refrigerator temperature to the coldest setting.  This is for when the power goes off as the cool air of your refrigerator will stay longer, thereby preserving your food a lot longer.

Elevate your Home and Furniture

It is also a good idea to elevate your house, especially if you live in an area prone to hurricanes and flood.  This will help prevent potential expensive damage to your home and possessions.  Billions of dollars in damage was caused to homes during Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, and not all claims have been paid for this.

All in all, preparing for the worst is the best course of action.  It could save you precious time, energy, and money as well as possibly saving your life as well as that of your loved ones. 
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