Hurricane Preparation
Are you prepared in the event of a hurricane?

As we prepare to enter the most active hurricane season, August through October, there are ways to prepare in the event that a major store or hurricane makes landfall in our state. Due to the warmer waters in the Atlantic Ocean this year, there is a higher possibility that hurricanes could occur off the eastern seaboard. Local emergency responders and the National Hurricane Center continue to monitor forecasts and review evacuations plans to keep individuals safe. As they do their part, you have a role as well. Your role is to be alert and prepared for the hurricane season.

If an evacuation is necessary, you will need to remember and prepare the following items:
  • Take all evacuation orders seriously and act immediately.
  • Keep at least a half tank of gasoline at all times. Avoid being stuck in line at a gas station when it is time to evacuate.
  • If you do not own a car, learn about your area’s plan for evacuation via mass transit, or make arrangements with a neighbor who drives.
  • Consider plans to stay with family or friends.
  • Determine where you will kennel pets. Most public shelters do not accept animals other than assistance animals for disabled individuals.
  • You should prepare a backpack filled with the following items:
    • Important family documents and information
    • Special items for family members with disabilities
    • Snacks, toys or other items to occupy your family during what may be a long stressful drive
    • A supply of cash
    • Diapers and infant care items
If an evacuation is not necessary, an order for residents to shelter in place (home or work) may be issued. This may be the safest course of action if you are not located in the storm surge or a flood-prone area. All residents should prepare to be self-sufficient for up to three days. The area may have been damaged and water and electricity may be off. Outside support may not be readily available due to flooding or damaged bridges and roads. Keep the following items handy and in a safe place:
  • You should prepare a backpack filled with the following items:
    • Important family documents and information
    • Special items for family members with disabilities
    • Snacks, toys or other items to occupy your family during what may be a long stressful drive
    • A supply of cash
    • Diapers and infant care items
  • Three days’ supply of water (a total of three gallons for each family member).
  • Three days’ supply of non-perishable, canned food.
  • Non-electric can opener.
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries. When services are cut off, your radio will be an information lifeline.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Large storage bin or plastic garbage can to store these items.
  • Consider sanitary items including, plastic garbage bags and ties, plastic bucket with a tight lid and household bleach.
Food, water, and batteries should be checked every six months. No one likes to think about bad news and disasters but these basic steps should provide an added level of confidence during any emergency that may arise.