May 27 through June 2 has been declared as 2012 National Hurricane Preparedness Week, the National Hurricane Center has announced. Hurricane Season each year officially begins June 1 and runs through the end of November, according to the National Weather Service.
If you or the senior loved one you care for live in an area that may be hit by hurricanes, this is the time for you to begin to prepare so that you are ready in advance should a hurricane strike.
“History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster,” the National Hurricane Center, part of the National Weather Service, advises on its website.
2012 Hurricane Preparedness Guide
The National Weather Service provides a 2012 Hurricane Preparedness Guide, which can be downloaded here as a PDF document. The 2012 Hurricane Preparedness Guide was prepared by the National Weather Service, together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Guide contains information on:
- What is a Tropical Cyclone? –Definitions of the different types of Tropical Cyclones, which may include Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, and Major Hurricanes;
- The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale — An explanation of how the severity of hurricanes is measured and reported;
- Hurricane Hazards — Including Storm Surge/Tide, Historical Storm Tide Events, Tornadoes, Winds, Rip Currents, and Rainfall;
- Tropical Cyclone Graphical Products –An explanation of the graphs, charts and forecasting tools provided by the National Hurricane Center;
- Ways to Stay Informed — Contact information of the many storm information sources available to you when a potential hurricane is predicted for your area;
- What To Listen For — An explanation of the various tropical storm watches and warnings that may be issued by the National Hurricane Center;
- Are You Ready? — A checklist of what to do to prepare Before the Hurricane Season, what to do During the Storm, whether to evacuate your home, what to bring with you to a shelter, and what to do After the Storm; and
- Family Emergency Plan — Steps to take to prepare in advance for a hurricane.
Checklist for a Disaster Supply Kit
Following is a list of supplies that the National Hurricane Center suggests you assemble in advance, as a “Disaster Supply Kit” to be ready for a hurricane:
- Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
- Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days — non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices — foods for infants or the elderly — snack foods — non-electric can opener — cooking tools / fuel — paper plates / plastic utensils
- Blankets / Pillows, etc.
- Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
- First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
- Special Items – for babies and the elderly
- Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
- Flashlight / Batteries
- Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
- Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
- Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
- Toys, Books and Games
- Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag — insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
- Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
- Vehicle fuel tanks filled
- Pet care items — proper identification / immunization records / medications — ample supply of food and water — a carrier or cage — muzzle and leash.
For more information, see the National Hurricane Center’s website on Hurricane Preparedness.
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