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Prepare Now for Hurricane Season

Parents discussing their preparedness plans with their daughters.

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts on June 1, 2012. It is important to prepare your family for unexpected disasters and emergencies.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hurricane Season begins June 1 and now is the time to develop a Family Disaster Plan.  The best time to make important decisions about your family's safety is before disaster strikes.  Past events have shown that people who think ahead, prepare, and have a plan fare best during and after a disaster.  If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours (3 days).

During a disaster your family may or may not be together.  It is important to plan in advance how you will get to a safe place, how to contact one another and how you will get back together.

Elements of a Good Family Disaster Plan include:

  • Locating a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard.  In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
  • Determining escape routes from your home and places to meet.  These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
  • Having an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Making a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Posting emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
  • Checking your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Stocking non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Using a NOAA weather radio.  Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
  • Taking First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Visit www.ready.gov for sample Family Emergency Plans and to learn more about family communication during an emergency.

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