New York State has proclaimed the week of May 26th through June 1st as “Hurricane Preparedness Week,” and now is the time for all New Yorkers to begin reviewing their preparedness plans for the upcoming 2013 season.
After the incredible destructiveness of Superstorm Sandy, and with Hurricane Irene also causing damage only two years ago, no one should be caught off guard as to the powerful force of nature. There are several simple measures Long Islanders can begin to take to be prepared, such as having emergency supplies ready and available. These include things like batteries, flashlights, water, canned goods and even generators.
The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has again predicted an above average hurricane season for the Atlantic basin.
Before the start of the hurricane, Long Islanders should:
· Develop or review a household disaster plan. Know how to contact all family members at all times. Identify an out-of-town friend or family member to be the “emergency family contact.” Then make certain all family members have that number. Designate a family emergency meeting point, some familiar location where the family can meet in the event the home is inaccessible.
· Prepare an emergency phone list of people and organizations that may need to be called. Include children’s schools, doctors, child/senior care providers, and insurance agents.
· Know the hurricane / storm risks in their areas, and learn the storm surge history and area’s elevation.
· Learn their community’s warning signals and evacuation plans.
· Learn safe routes inland.
· Learn the location of official shelters.
· Make arrangements on where to relocate pets during a storm because most shelters will not allow pets.
· Ensure that enough non-perishable food and water supplies are on hand (approximately 10 days). Make sure battery-operated radios and flashlights are available and have an ample supply of batteries. Have a first aid kit available and make sure there is an ample supply of medicines on hand for those who require it.
· Store important documents – insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc. – in a waterproof container. Also have cash, checkbook, credit and ATM cards readily available.
· Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home.
· Know how to turn off the power, heat and water at home.
· Repair loose and clear clogged rain gutters and down spouts.
· Secure or bring inside lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects such as garbage cans and garden tools that could become projectiles in high winds. Also keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood.
· Review insurance policies to determine extent of coverage before a storm strikes.
· Determine where to move boats in an emergency.
· Be aware of local weather conditions by listening to National Weather Service broadcasts on NOAA Weather Radio and reports from local television and radio stations.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the DHSES website at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/event/hurricane-safety.cfm
If you would like a copy of my brochure, “ARE YOU PREPARED?”, please send an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the subject line “Hurricane Brochure request.”