Tips For Hurricane Preparation: It Is Projected To Be A Stormy Season! by Dena Ventrudo

Scientists and meteorologists have projected that this year’s hurricane season is going to be extremely active and potentially very destructive, due to the rising temperature of the oceans. Global Climate Change is going to take us for a ride, let’s make sure we’re wearing our safety belts!

I think we should all know what to do in case there is an emergency situation in your area.

But first you should understand the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. I know I personally get them confused.

A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.

A Hurricane Warning means Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours. (Red Cross)

The below is a guideline of procedures laid out by the Red Cross. I ask that you take the time to not only read them all, but print them out and keep them someplace where everyone can read them, i.e. the refrigerator door.

Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan

Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places–a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter. Keep handy the telephone numbers of these places as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take these items with you when evacuating: Prescription medications and medical supplies;(I always have ice packs prepared for an emergency where I need to pack my insulin!) Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows Bottled water, battery-operated radio and extra batteries, first aid kit, flashlight Car keys and maps Documents, including driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Including the Following Items:

First aid kit and essential medications. Canned food and can opener. At least three gallons of water per person. Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags. Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries. Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members. Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn them back on.)

Prepare for High Winds

Hurricane Wilma (BBC News Photo)Install hurricane shutters or purchase precut 1/2″ outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home. Install anchors for the plywood and predrill holes in the plywood so that you can put it up quickly. Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through.

Know What to Do When a Hurricane WATCH Is Issued

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information. Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind. Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood as described above. Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking, so taping windows is not recommended. Fill your car’s gas tank. Recheck manufactured home tie-downs. Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications.

Know What to Do When a Hurricane WARNING Is Issued

Hurricane KatrinaListen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so. Complete preparation activities. If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows. Be aware that the calm “eye” is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds. Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during a hurricane and after it passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows. Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.

Know What to Do After a Hurricane Is Over

Keep listening to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for instructions. If you evacuated, return home when local officials tell you it is safe to do so. Inspect your home for damage. Use flashlights in the dark; do not use candles. (Reasons vary from potential gas leaks to other loose flamable substances) Power Outage Safety Food Safety Chainsaw Safety Portable Generator Safety Water treatment

For further information, links, lists, phone numbers, and even childrens’ reading material, please visit The Red Cross’s website.

Many times there are watch’s and warnings, and everything turns out to be ok. Please, please don’t ignore advisories and evacuations in your area! Just because it’s always been ok doesn’t mean it always will! It is better to be safe than sorry!

I know in this day and age you work hard for the things you have, your house, etc. But as my aunt always used to say, “Its just stuff! Replaceable things! Let them go! You are not replaceable!”. Its true, please be careful this season!


Dena Ventrudo

New Study Says Hurricanes Doubling In Number Due To Global Climate Change

by Dena Ventrudo
Dena Ventrudo is the Assistant Editor of Merlian News. She is a published poet and creative writer. Dena volunteered as an environmentalist with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) for three years serving as a project leader, an intern, and a board representative. She has a BA in Liberal Studies.