Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hurricane Preparedness 2016

# 11,392

Despite the damage inflicted upon the Northeast in 2012 by super storm Sandy, the United States has not been hit by a land-falling major (CAT 3+) hurricane in more than 10 years - the last being Wilma in October of 2005.

While a welcomed lull, that's a lucky streak that won't go on forever, And the longer we go between big strikes, the less people tend to take the threat seriously. 

Well over 50 million Americans live in susceptible coastal areas, while further inland many more are susceptible to inland flooding and spin-off tornadoes.   

This past week has been Hurricane Preparedness Week, and FEMA,, and NOAA all are encouraging everyone living or working in hurricane vulnerable areas to take time to prepare for the upcoming season (June 1st - Nov 30th).

This from NOAA Weather Ready Nation. 

It only takes one storm to change your life and community. 
Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared. Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes from these storms. The National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issue watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather. 
Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 15-21, 2016) is your time to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. Learn how with the daily tips below and related links. Share these with your friends and family to ensure that they're prepared. 
 Hurricane Preparedness Week 

The National Weather Service has this advice for preparing for Hurricane Season.

What to Do Before the Tropical Storm or Hurricane 
The best time to prepare for a hurricane is before hurricane season begins on June 1. It is vital to understand your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind. Here is your checklist of things do do BEFORE hurricane seasons begins.
  • Know your zone: Do you live near the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts? Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking the evacuation site website.
  • Write or review your Family Emergency Plan: Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Start at the Ready.Gov emergency plan webpage.
  • Put Together an Emergency Supplies Kit: Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.
  • Review Your Home Owners Insurance: Review your insurance policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home.

When it comes to getting the latest information on hurricanes, your first stop should always be the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. These are the real experts, and the only ones you should rely on to track and forecast the storm.
If you are on Twitter, you should also follow @FEMA, @CraigatFEMA@NHC_Atlantic@NHC_Pacific and@ReadyGov.

While living in a Hurricane zone requires extra planning, no matter where you live or work, you need to think about potential threats and how you will deal with them should one emerge.  

If not hurricanes, you may have to deal with blizzards, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods . . . even terrorist attacks, or a pandemic. 

So you need to ask yourself -  If a disaster struck your region today, and the power went out, stores closed their doors, and water stopped flowing from your kitchen tap for the next 7 days . . . do you have: 
  • An emergency plan, including meeting places, emergency out-of-state contact numbers, and in case you must evacuate, a bug-out bag
  • A battery operated NWS Emergency Radio to find out what was going on, and to get vital instructions from emergency officials?
  • A decent first-aid kit, so that you can treat injuries?
  • Enough non-perishable food and water on hand to feed and hydrate your family (including pets) for the duration?
  • A way to provide light (and in cold climates, heat) for your family without electricity?   And a way to cook?  And to do this safely?
  • A small supply of cash to use in case credit/debit machines are not working?
  • Spare supply of essential prescription medicines that you or your family may need?
If your answer is `no’, you have some work to do.  A good place to get started is by visiting

Beyond having the basic skills and supplies for you and your family, I would strongly urge that you cultivate a network of  `disaster buddies ’ (see In An Emergency, Who Has Your Back?among your friends, relatives, co-workers, and neighbors.

While being prepared doesn't guarantee a good outcome for you and your family, it certainly improves your odds.  To become better prepared as an individual, family, business owner, or community, I would invite you to visit the following preparedness sites.


And for more on increasing your level of preparedness, you might want to check out:

When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough
#NatlPrep: Half Of All Americans Need An Earthquake Plan
#NatlPrep - The Gift Of Preparedness

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