Hurricane season is here and since the short time since it began, there has already been activity in the Eastern Pacific. Almost as quickly as she formed, however, Christina abruptly veered off course and dissipated into a tropical storm, just another media has-been.
In fact, most of the predictions for the season are for a relatively quiet hurricane season; 11 named storms and five hurricanes, two major, are potentially queuing up for 2014. There most likely won’t be a repeat of the 2010 season, which spawned 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes, but it only takes one hurricane making landfall to cause massive devastation. Hurricane Sandy came ashore as a Category 2 storm and caused over $68 billion in damage as she carved a path across the Caribbean Islands before finally walloping New Jersey, New York, and New England.
So, regardless of what the weather models are predicting, if you live near the coast in an area that has seen hurricane activity in the past, you should be prepared for the worst (think Katrina).
Here are several ways you can do that:
- Check the Weather – Hurricanes, unlike tornados, announce themselves well in advance. The American Red Cross has a hurricane app that allows you to track storms, locate open Red Cross shelters, and send messages to loved ones.
- Know the Evacuation Routes – You do not want to leave your home only to get lost and end up heading towards the storm or being stuck behind fleeing traffic. Map out your route well ahead of time and make sure that everyone in your family who drives is well acquainted with it. Place a map in the glove box with the route highlighted in case you’re not getting a signal on the phone or GPS.
- Keep an Emergency Survival Kit – If you are trapped in your home when the storm hits, you may need more than just candles and food to survive. Roof leaks and flooding can ruin many of your existing supplies, not to mention put you and your family in danger. One of the best ways to prepare for this possible scenario is to invest in several survival kits for your family. Our premium bug-out bag comes equipped with a two week supply of food (1 person), a flashlight/radio, a first aid kit, waterproof matches, a water bottle and purifier, and a reusable heat source, all of which come in a waterproof bag with room for extra provisions. In a life or death situation, this bag and some of our other products could keep you alive and well until help arrives.
- Acquaint yourself with your Town’s Emergency Measures – Does your town have a disaster committee? If not, you could spearhead the move to make one. If they do, find out about the measures that they would take during a hurricane. Where would they set up a shelter? How soon would evacuated residents be allowed back after the storm? Would they be distributing food and water? It’s a good idea to know who to call and how much you can rely on them for help well before a disaster strikes and you are cut off from information.
When it comes to hurricanes, don’t let the conservative predictions for the 2014 season fool you. One of those named storms could develop into the next Camille. Get ready now; preparation is the key to survival.