With the first storm of the Pacific hurricane season churning off the coast of Mexico, and the Atlantic hurricane season beginning in just a few days, now is the time to prepare for hurricane season. Each year, the Town-Crier urges its readers to plan early for storms, and this year is no exception — especially since forecasters are predicting an active storm season.
National Hurricane Preparedness Week runs through Saturday, May 31, and there’s plenty of information out there for you to figure out what you need to stay safe should a storm come our way. Not only will preparing early mean you have time to think and plan, but it will help you avoid inevitable long lines and higher prices when the time comes.
It’s important to remember that hurricanes are hazardous not just from high winds, but also storm surges, heavy rainfall, flooding, tornadoes and rip currents, all of which can be dangerous and happen rapidly. While we have advanced warning that a hurricane is coming, it’s much harder to know if you’ll get caught in a sudden tornado or storm surge.
You’ll need to plan not just for the wind and rain, but for the possibility that more disasters could occur. Now is the time to make a plan for your family, before the storm hits. Will you need to evacuate? If so, Seminole Ridge and Palm Beach Central high schools are the American Red Cross hurricane shelters in our area.
But just as important as knowing where to go is knowing when to go. Even the most prepared household could face storm surge, tornadoes or flooding, which is why it’s important to keep a list of emergency numbers by your side — it will be difficult to leave your home in the middle of a storm, but there are times where there is no choice. Know the proper authorities to help you get out safely.
If you’re hunkering down for the storm, it’s important to make sure your home is secure, and be sure to stock up on necessities like water, batteries, candles, matches and non-perishable food items. Even after the storm, you could be stuck in your home for days or even weeks.
One of the most often forgotten supplies is medical prescriptions. Never wait until the last minute to refill your prescriptions, especially the ones you can’t live without. If you’re stranded in your home, it will be much harder for medical personnel to get to your aid. And with resources often tied up after storms, it’s important to be as prepared as you can so authorities can help those truly in need.
For a complete list of recommended supplies, emergency numbers and more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s web site at www.nhc.noaa.gov.