Be prepared for hurricane season
History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.
National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2013 runs from Sunday, May 26 through Saturday, June 1.
According the National Weather Service (NWS), Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes and rip currents. The NWS is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches. Furthermore, mariners should be aware of special safety precautions when confronted with a hurricane.
To prepare for a hurricane, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the following measures:
• To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
• Know your surroundings.
• Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
• Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
• Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
• Make plans to secure your property.
• Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
• Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
• Reinforce your garage doors. If wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
• Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
• Determine how and where to secure your boat.
• Install a generator for emergencies.
Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection.
To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) website at http://www.floodsmart.gov or call (800) 427-2419.
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