Hurricanes Happen: Get Prepared!
With hurricane season upon us, it’s more important than ever to get yourself, your family and your home ready for any upcoming wind or rain “event.” Basic hurricane preparation is essential for all South Floridians – are you ready?
Check out these free hurricane preparation programs going on this summer at Broward County Library:
June 26 - Hurricane Preparedness: The Emergency Operations Center will present a hurricane preparedness program to ensure that you are prepared in the event of an emergency. This program may be postponed in the event of an actual weather emergency, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Riverland Library
July 29 - Hurricane Preparedness Presentation by Broward County Emergency Management Division, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., West Regional Library
If you’ve lived in a storm-prone area for at least one hurricane season, you’re familiar with the drill. Live news reports from Home Depot, the cone of destruction and shopping carts filled with can goods and water. Even if you’ve been there and done that, don’t fall into the complacency trap. It might be a cliché, but where hurricanes are concerned, it is better to be safe than sorry.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is get organized. There are five main steps to hurricane preparation; follow them and you’ll be well on your way toward preparation and prevention. Get started by visiting Hurricane, the official hurricane website of Broward County.
- Develop a Family Plan: Discuss the hazards that your family could face such as storm surge, flooding or wind. Locate a safe room or area in your home for each hazard and determine escape routes from your home in case of emergency. Have an out-of-state person as your family contact so all family members have a single point of contact. Post emergency numbers in a prominent place and assign family members age- and skill-appropriate duties for before, during and after the storm.
- Have a Place to Go: If you’re in an evacuation zone, don’t wait until the last minute to decide where to go. At the beginning of each hurricane season, determine a safe place for the storm, whether it is the home of family or friends, a local hurricane shelter or an inn, hotel/motel or other lodging. Pack and gas up your car ahead to avoid last-minute rushes and long lines at the pump.
- Create a Disaster Supply Kit: Batteries, canned food, water, plywood are just a few of the supplies you’ll want to have on hand in case of a storm. Don’t wait until the last minute; procrastinate and you may find the stores out of what you need.
- Secure Your Home: What do you need to do to make your home more secure against wind, water and debris? If you have shutters, make sure you have everything you need (screws, washers, etc.) to get and keep them up. Need plywood? Get it as soon as you can. Most people don’t bother taping windows anymore as it hasn’t proven to keep windows together. Tie down or store lawn furniture and anything else that could turn into a dangerous windblown missile.
- Have a Pet Plan: If you have animals in the family, make sure you plan for them in the event of a hurricane. Do not leave you animals behind – it is cruel to abandon them. Make sure you have everything you need for your pet such as food, medicine, toys, a carrier, water, leash and collar, photos of your pet (alone and with you) and veterinary/shot records. If you live in an evacuation area, make plans ahead of time to stay in a pet-friendly shelter, motel/hotel or with friends/family. Of course, the above steps are simple guidelines: find out more about how to get storm-ready with resources from Broward County Library. Find great books on protecting your house, apartment or condo; watch a DVD on hurricane preparedness; check out a cookbook that’ll teach you how to whip up a great meal without electricity; and learn how hurricanes form and grow. Visit your Broward County Library for free resources on everything you need to know about hurricanes.