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The weather is wearing America down. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported more than 60,000 weather events in 2020. Nearly 600 people died from these events, many of them from hurricanes.
Hurricane preparedness is absolutely essential. You can't just buy a first-aid kit and hunker down in your house and expect to be okay. You need to take several steps to avoid devastating injuries.
How do hurricanes occur, and who can they affect? What hurricane preparedness supplies should you buy? How should you prepare for a hurricane and respond to one after it occurs?
Answer these questions and you can protect yourself from hurricanes for years to come. Here is your quick guide.
The hurricane season runs between June and November. In order for hurricanes to form, they need hot water, humidity in the atmosphere, and low wind shear. These conditions can come together at any time, including outside of the season, so you need to be ready now.
Most people think of hurricanes in the Atlantic. But hurricanes can form in the Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico, so everyone on the coast should prepare for one. Hurricanes also run inland and create problems.
In addition to hurricanes, you need to keep tropical depressions and tropical storms in mind. Though they are less powerful than hurricanes, they can cause power outages for days.The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale ranks hurricanes based on their wind speed. A Category 1 storm is the least significant storm, producing winds between 74 and 95 miles per hour. These winds are strong enough to rip power lines down and snap trees.
Any storm that is Category 3 or higher is a major hurricane. Just one major hurricane can trigger power outages for weeks and destroy roads.
The Saffir-Simpson scale is a helpful tool, but it does not cover everything about hurricanes. Hurricanes can produce extensive rains, storm surges, and tornadoes. Disaster and emergency preparedness means being prepared for all of these events.
Hurricane preparedness kits should contain many different supplies. You should have enough non-perishable food and water to last for several days. If you take prescriptions, you need enough pills for at least a week.
You should have copies of important documents, including your passport, driver's license, and birth certificate. You can put them inside a waterproof wallet or container.
You can put a spare cell phone and charger in your kit. If a phone would be too expensive, you can use a battery-operated radio instead. Make sure you have extra batteries for it.
A portable power station for a hurricane can charge your appliances and lights. Take a look at a few stations before selecting one.
The OUPES 1800W Portable Power Station provides enough electricity for ten appliances, and it can connect to solar panels for easy recharging. The station has a lifespan that is six times longer than lithium batteries. You can pack the station in your car or leave it at home.
You should plan on evacuating before any major hurricane hits your area. You risk your life if you stay behind and try to ride the storm out, even if you have a great hurricane preparedness kit.
Take a look at the roads in your area. You can use a major highway to evacuate, but the road can get crowded. You should have an alternative route you can take if traffic becomes severe.
If you cannot leave your local area, you should try to find where the nearest hurricane shelter is. Your local and state government may be running one out of a sports stadium or a school.
For minor storms, you should write a hurricane preparedness plan. You should write down emergency phone numbers and the contact information of your family. During and after a storm, you should remain in touch with others and listen to your radio.
Whether you are evacuating or riding a storm out, you need to secure your home. Install tight weather strips around your doors and windows so rain and floodwater cannot seep inside.
You should place plywood boards over your windows so they don't break. You can write your name and information on a board so a first responder knows you are inside.
All objects outside your house need to come into your house. The wind can throw garbage cans, furniture, and artworks into your windows.
Floodwater can stream into your basement or lower floors. You should move any valuable objects into your upper floors, especially ones made of paper or glass. Take photographs of these objects so you can get compensation if they break.
You can visit the National Hurricane Center's website and see what storms are developing near you. Once the center issues a forecast for a storm, you should start following your disaster & emergency preparedness plan. If you haven't bought supplies on your hurricane preparedness list, you should do so.
If you are in your home when a storm hits, you need to remain in a secure room. Move toward the center of your house and stay away from the windows.
If you are not at home, remain where you are until a local government official tells you to come back. You can use the supplies in your preparedness kit until services return to normal. You can also get resources from the National Guard and Red Cross.
Hurricane preparedness is simple yet profound. A hurricane can occur at any moment and affect any coastal community. You should buy supplies right now, especially a portable power station for an emergency.
Figure out how you can evacuate your area and respond to a disaster. In the days before a storm, you should board up your house and lock your doors. Start following your preparedness plan and prioritize keeping yourself safe.
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