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Prepare for a Possible Hurricane: It's the Wise Thing to Do

Hurricane season in the U.S. starts in June and lasts until the end of November. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you need to have an emergency plan that has been thought out carefully. Know the evacuation routes available to you before there is an official 'Hurricane Watch' or 'Hurricane Warning' broadcast over the radio or television, and keep alert to the updates for your region.

What Is a 'Hurricane Watch'?

A 'Hurricane Watch' refers to weather circumstances that are capable of producing a hurricane within 36 hours' time. As soon as you hear a 'Hurricane Watch' announced, know that you have the time necessary to get a boat prepared or to put your evacuation plans in place if you must leave the area before the storm sets down.

What Is a 'Hurricane Warning'?

A 'Hurricane Warning' means that continuous winds of at least 74 miles per hour are anticipated within the next 24 hours. This is a more serious notification than a 'Hurricane Watch.' If a 'Hurricane Warning' is issued for your area, you should be finalizing your plans of protective action for yourself and your home. Also, at this point, you should know at which location you and your family would be safest as the storm approaches. If your home is located in a flood-prone area, plan on leaving your home during the storm.

Things To Do Before a Hurricane

Obtain plywood and nails to board up your home's windows.

Place indoors any outside items that can blow away.

Don't forget to prepare your pet(s) for safety. Consult your veterinarian or humane society for information on how to ready your pets for an emergency storm.

Have a stockpile of supplies on hand, including a survival kit, in both your home and your car. These supplies should consist of the following:

-First Aid kit
-Canned foods
-Bottles of water (3-7 days' worth per person)
-Soaps, toiletries
-Blankets
-Pillows
-Battery-operated or crank radio
-Flashlights with extra batteries
-Protective clothing
-Prescription medicines
-Other items necessary for babies or the elderly

Place all of your important papers or documents in cases or bags that are waterproof.

Take some money out of the bank in case the banks must be closed or ATM machines are non-working during or following a hurricane.

Fill up your car's tank with fuel.

What To Do As a Hurricane Approaches

Stay inside your home, away from any windows.

If your home is a mobile home, protect yourself by moving temporarily into a shelter.

Should a mandatory evacuation be issued, vacate the area right away.

When the Hurricane Is Over

Be careful as you look for people who are trapped or hurt.

There is often flooding after a hurricane. Be on the lookout for water buildup and do not try to drive through a flooded area.

Stay away from standing water. This water might be charged with electricity from beneath the ground or from knocked-down power lines.

Drink only bottled water until the tap water in your area has been cleared for safety.

Being prepared for an oncoming hurricane, which can be dangerous and sometimes fatal, is the most important you can do to keep you and your family safe.

Posted 6:00 PM  View Comments

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