About the House: Six Keys to Preparing for Hurricanes | Companies


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EASTON – While we still focus on boating, vacations, and barbecues, it’s important to know that hurricane season (June 1st – November 30th) has started. The last few years have shown an increase in both frequency and severity of natural disasters. So it is a wise decision to invest time, thought, and resources to proactively prepare for it.

Last year was a busy hurricane season with 30 named storms. Of these, 13 reached hurricane strength – and half of them reached wind speeds of category 3 or higher. This was the second busiest hurricane season since 2005. Several weather forecasts predict an increased likelihood of hurricane landings this season. According to WeatherBELL Analytics, this year’s hurricane season could fuel 16-22 named tropical storms, with 9-13 turning into hurricanes – and 3-6 could reach major hurricane status.

Hurricanes do not only affect the coastal regions. The tremendous force of a hurricane creates phenomenal kinetic energy that creates storm surges and currents along the coast, as well as inland flooding due to heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and high winds. All of these accompanying storm activities lead to damage from floods, wind damage and power outages.

No matter what natural or man-made disaster may occur, a great resource is www.ready.gov. Bookmark and visit this website to learn how to prepare for a wide variety of potential natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

So here are 6 keys to making sure you are prepared for the unexpected:

• Create an emergency plan. Prepare what you will do if you need to evacuate. Know how to secure your home and store a “go bag” with important clothing, food and medication. Always have enough cash ready to buy gasoline and groceries on the go as credit card systems are often inoperative. Visit www.reenwaterman.com/resources for useful information on developing your plan.

• Prepare a shelter-in-place plan. Consider buying a generator and stocking up on food, water, and medicine. If you have an outside entrance basement, make sure the drain is clear of leaves so your basement doesn’t get flooded. Don’t forget to include the elderly and pets in your evacuation and housing plans.

• Plan your escape route. Learn primary and alternative evacuation routes. Practice taking these routes. Keep your vehicles filled with gasoline. Don’t expect to find a hotel room in a natural disaster, so it is important to discuss with friends or relatives out of town beforehand a plan to stay with them in the event of an evacuation. Also offer them reciprocity in case they need to evacuate from their area.

• Have a business continuity plan. Make a plan to release employees in time to take care of their families. Develop a strategy for dealing with customers if they are late to return. Store necessary supplies in the event of a supply chain disruption.

• Help your neighbors. Meet with neighbors to discuss how you can help each other, whether you’re evacuating or seeking shelter. Discuss buying survival food in bulk to reduce individual costs. Create a community phone chain and disaster recovery plan.

• NEVER drive through flooded areas. Regardless of the vehicle you own, DO NOT drive through flooded areas as this will put your life and that of your family members and the first responders you rescue at risk.

Start today and prepare early to protect your property and the lives of you and your loved ones. It’s easy to hesitate or assume that this will never affect you. But resist this urge. Make the decision to prepare today.

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About Mike Crayton

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