The 2020 Hurricane season started June 1 and when it comes to preparing for hurricane season you can never be over prepared. Individuals need to make sure all hurricane supplies are current and not out dated. Make sure you have a family plan in place and do not wait until it is too late to start planning. During the months of potential hurricanes, it is important to plan for the worst and hope for the BEST. You need to have a family plan in place just in case you are asked to evacuate your home during emergency situations. When something does happen, preparation can help you react calmly to the unexpected, overcome your fears, as well as reducing the loss of life and property. Keep the following in mind when creating your plan or checking to see if you and your family are prepared for hurricane season.
Prepare Before the Hurricane:
Create an emergency communication plan with your family.
A. Put together a plan by discussing the following questions with your family or friends.
- How will you receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is your shelter plan?
- What is your evacuation route?
- What is your family/household communication plan?
B, Consider specific needs in your household
C. Fill out a family emergency plan https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/133447
D. Practice your plan with your family/household
Create a Family Disaster Plan:
This plan will ensure that in case of a disaster, your family is prepared not only physically but also mentally.
- For the plan you need to gather information and share the information with other members of your household to get their response.
- Plan how you will stay in contact with family in case you get separated during the disaster.
- Your family should have a meeting place or an out of state friend to check in with. Share information and coordinate plans with your neighbors. Figure out if there is anyone with special needs, such as an elderly or disabled person, nearby whom you might need to help in an emergency.
Empower Your Family:
- Emergency telephone numbers should be posted by each phone in your house.
- Show responsible family members how to shut off gas, electric and water.
- First aid and CPR. Someone in your family should have these important skills.
- Keep important family documents in waterproof, fireproof or portable container. (Another blog will cover what documents you need to keep and how to replace)
- Home hazards. Look around your home for electrical, chemical, and fire hazards.
Know the Evacuation Route and Follow Directions:
- Keep a map on hand and be prepared to use routes specified by the emergency officials.
- DO NOT use any road or shortcut that Emergency Officials do not recommend.
Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit:
Assemble the following items in an easy to carry container.
- Water—count on at least two quarts of water per person per day. Include water purification supplies in your kit.
- Food —stock a two week supply of nonperishable food that needs little or no cooking,
- Toiletries, First Aid Supplies, Clothing and Bedding and Special Items – will depend on your family’s needs, but could include insulin, baby foods, and heart medicine.
- Keep your Vehicle’s Tank Filled with fuel and if you evacuate take only one vehicle per household.
- Have a cellular phone, charger and spare battery pack with you.
- Keep cash on hand since ATM may not work if electric is off.
These preparations can help ensure safety and peace of mind if a weather emergency occurs! Always be prepared to evacuate when a disaster hits.
For more information contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/