National Hurricane Preparedness Week – May 25 – 31, 2014

hurricane preparedness weekThe Atlantic Hurricane Season is here. Being aware of vulnerabilities and the actions to take can help reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has approved a nine-day sales tax holiday on the sale of hurricane preparation supplies such as batteries, flashlights and generators; the holiday starts May 31st.  Read more about the tax holiday here.

Please take a moment to review the list below and take the necessary steps to prepare yourself and your family for the season. Please share this post with family, friends and colleagues to make sure they’re prepared as well.

MAKE A PLAN:

Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind, and take steps to reduce damage to your home by protecting areas where wind can enter.

  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In some circumstances, the safest areas may not be your home, but somewhere in your community.
  • Have an evacuation plan.  Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all of your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure everyone knows how to call 911 and when it’s appropriate.
  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Use a weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, just as you do with your smoke detectors.
  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

SECURE YOUR HOME:

The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. It’s important to strengthen the exterior of your house so that wind and debris don’t destroy your home and tear large openings. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five areas:

  • roof
  • straps
  • shutters
  • doors
  • garage doors

Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.  Don’t make any assumptions; be sure to check your policy. 

OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES:

Ready.gov – Learn what measures to take before, during and after a hurricane.

Palm Beach County Hurricane Survival Guide – Valuable phone numbers, lists and tips to keep your family safe in the event of a storm.

FEMA Online Hazard Maps – Take the necessary steps to identify your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Create custom hazard maps by entering a zip code and selecting from a variety of hazard types to help determine disaster risks in your community.

Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool – An informational aid designed to assist communities in their efforts to reduce hazard vulnerability through strategies relating to awareness, education and mitigation.

NWS Storm Ready – A program aimed at arming communities with the communication and safety skills necessary to save lives and property.

National Hurricane Center – Stay up to date with what’s happening this hurricane season.

Hurricane Basics – Become familiar with the differences between a hurricane, tropical storm and tropical depression.