We are now 5 days into what the NOAA, or national oceanic and atmospheric administration is calling an above normal Atlantic hurricane season. 2016 went down as the strongest hurricane season since 2012 with 15 named storms, 4 of which developing into major hurricanes including Hurricane Sandy which caused over $71 billion dollars in damage and was responsible for taking over 100 lives in the US alone. The unfortunate reality is that most of these deaths are preventable with proper planning.
There are a few things to keep in mind with the hurricane season upon us that will help in keeping you out of the way of danger.
- Don’t wait for a storm to come to discuss a plan of action. Talk with your family about different courses of action for different storms. It’s ideal to have the opportunity to have a several day warning about a storm, but tornadoes don’t leave much in the way for planning ahead and as such should be approached differently than a hurricane.
- Have a disaster supply kit that includes flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
- Practice like you play – Go through the different scenarios that will help you and your family stay out of harms way.
- Make a plan for your pet: We oftentimes look at our pets as family, and though in most cases that is acceptable, not all storm shelters accept pets. It is important for your storm plan to make provisions for pets, as waiting until the last minute often puts you and your pet at a disadvantage.
- Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines and make others aware of any evacuation plans you intend to make. Be sure to update those parties as plans change as they’ll be aware if anything seems out of place if checkpoints or destinations aren’t reached.
While we have yet to fully implement the full role out of OERNet, our goal is to educate as well as engage our audience, and as such we encourage individuals to reach out to their local emergency managers, red cross, salvation army, united way and other disaster relief agencies that already have a strong footing within the community. Are you interested in getting involved with OERNet? Become a volunteer and get started!