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Are you prepared for this "record breaking" hurricane season? June 1st-November 30th

Hurricane season is once again upon us, and this one is expected to be a record-breaking one to remember.

We all remember Hurricanes Rita, and Harvey which are just two that have slammed our area in recent years. But, according to forecasts, the worst could be yet to come.

NOAA has predicted this to be the most severe season on record and as always, the best defense is to be prepared now, before the 'big one' hits.

According to the recent hurricane guidance NOAA said, "The Atlantic and central Pacific hurricane season (includes Hawaii) officially runs June 1 through November 30. The eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30".

It continues, "However, the best time to prepare is well before the official start of the season. Avoid having to rush through potentially life-saving preparations by waiting until it’s too late. Get your disaster supplies while the shelves are still stocked, and get that insurance checkup early, as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period".

A general list of items to prepare for are listed below, however everyone's situation is different. Use this list as a reminder of your particular needs before a storm hits our area.

  1. Develop an evacuation plan; Do you have disabled or elderly people to consider? Do you need assistance evacuating or a ride out of the area? Does an evacuation center accept pets? Do you have the ability to move your livestock to higher ground and a location willing to accommodate them?

  2. Assemble evacuation supplies; be sure to have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of 3 days (store a longer than 3-day supply of water, if possible). Electricity and water could be out for weeks. Compile a first aid kit just in case of injury. You'll need extra cash. Don't rely on ATMs because if the power is out, there is a good chance ATMs are out as well. Get a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You may need a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones. Get a waterproof case for your important documents for each member of the family including animals. And lastly, don’t forget your pets!

  3. Get an insurance checkup & document your possessions; Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough insurance to repair or even replace your home and/or belongings. Remember, home and renters insurance doesn’t cover flooding, so you’ll need a separate policy for it. Remember, flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period. Make a list of all of your valuables and take photos for documentation.

  4. Create a communication plan; Work up an evacuation route and meeting up plan and be sure to share it with loved ones before a storm. It isn't unusual for cell service to become spotty during hurricanes. Write down on paper a list of emergency contacts, and make sure to include utilities and other critical services — remember, the internet may not be accessible during or after a storm. Lastly, buy a paper map.

  5. Strengthen your home; Now is the time to improve your home’s ability to withstand hurricane impacts. Trim trees. Install storm shutters, accordion shutters, and/or impact glass. Seal outside wall openings. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand hurricane-force winds. Many retrofits are not as costly or time consuming as you may think. If you’re a renter, work with your landlord now to prepare for a storm. And remember - now is the time to purchase the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to have on hand if you need to board up the windows and doors ahead of an approaching storm.

FEMA has a free mobile app that will give you more information to help you prepare for a storm, locate shelters, and keep you informed of the coming storms and rescue service if necessary.


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