Tropical storms and hurricanes bring heavy rain and winds that can create damage, as well as block roads and knock out power. People with certain health conditions, like those that require medication, need to have a safety plan in place in case an emergency strikes.
Here’s how you can keep your family safe and healthy before, during and after a storm.
How to prepare before the storm
Once you find out the storm is heading your way, go ahead and prepare. Here’s a storm-ready checklist:
1. Know your evacuation routes. Be sure to have discussed or have a written evacuation plan. The National Weather Service recommends you have a plan of action mapped out in case you are pressed for time.
2. Create a home safety kit. The Department of Homeland Security recommends you have:
- Enough water for each person to have a gallon a day
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Garbage bags
- Phone chargers
- Duct tape
- Wrench or pliers
- Local map
- Manual can opener
Be sure that your safety kit is in an easy-to-locate area such as a kitchen counter or coffee table.
3.Be aware of your location. The National Weather Service recommends that you “know your zone.” If you live near a hazardous structure or area like a dam or by the ocean, listen to safety instructions from your local news and community.
4. Take out cash and fill up your gas tank. The NWS recommends that you keep hard cash on you at all times and a full tank of gas if asked to evacuate. Your safety is important and you may not be able to grab gas during a state of emergency, let alone use a credit card when the power goes out.
Stay safe during the storm
The rough winds, hard rain and flying debris can be frightening, but here’s what to do while you wait it out.
- Stay alert. Use your emergency radio to stay up-to-date on the storm’s progress and any additional dangers it may bring to your area.
- Head to a safe part of your home. Stay away from windows in case of flying glass.
- Keep your refrigerator cold. Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting so that your food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Keep your family in the loop. Once you are in a safe place, try reaching out to friends and loved ones to let everyone know you are okay. Nothing is more reassuring than knowing someone is safe.