September is National Preparedness Month, and today I am discussing how to prepare for hurricane season when they aren’t common in your area. We always thought that where we lived, we didn’t have to worry about hurricanes. But in 2012, Superstorm Sandy changed all of that. And we weren’t prepared.
So now, instead of thinking “it won’t happen again”, I am making sure that I am prepared in a moment’s notice. Today I am sharing with ways you can prepare for hurricane season, no matter where you are in the world. Because you just don’t know when you could be in this precarious situation.
Some Hurricane Facts You Need To Know
When is hurricane season?
The Atlantic hurricane season typically occurs from June 1 to November 30.
What months are the worst for hurricanes?
On a worldwide scale, September is the most active. Activity sharply peaks from late August through September, with September 10th being the highest probability of a storm forming.
Where do hurricanes hit the most in the world?
Some of the countries that are most likely to get hurricanes include: Cuba, Madagascar, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia, the U.S., Mexico, Japan, the Philippines and China.
What countries doesn’t get hurricanes?
When travelers think of safe islands to visit during hurricane season, the “ABC Islands” of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao often come to mind. Of the three, Aruba is the best option for avoiding hurricanes whether you vacation or live there..
Why You Need To Prepare For Hurricane Season
A hurricane can quickly develop from a tropical depression to a major hurricane in a short time. And while the weather people can give you a general idea of where the hurricane may go, there are so many variables that can change, and let’s face it, Mother Nature has the upper hand.
So why do you need to be prepared for hurricanes? Here are a few reasons:
- You will often lose power.
- You may lose communication with family members or emergency personnel.
- You may not have enough food or water for your family.
- Being prepared can cut down on the unknown.
I have to tell you, being without power for 5 days was a scary ordeal. The kids were smaller, and it happened during a cold snap in our area. Luckily other family members did get their power back early, and the boys were able to stay with them. But now, I plan to always be prepared for a hurricane, no matter how remote the chance may be.
Naturally, none of us wants to think about how to prepare for a hurricane. We have so much other things to worry about, like paying for bills, or work, or just relaxing. But, by making a plan at the beginning of hurricane season, you will help keep you and your family safe & secure.
Important Phone Numbers Every Family Member Needs To Know
Before I go into anything else, I am sharing some very important phone numbers that can be used before, during, and after a hurricane. As the head of your household, make sure everyone knows where they can find them.
American Red Cross: 1-866-GET-INFO
National Weather Service: 1-850-942-8833
Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
There are so many things that can go wrong during a hurricane emergency, so having these numbers handy can cut down on the unknown.
Why You Should Make Your Emergency Evacuation Plan First
One of the best ways to prepare for a hurricane is to have an emergency evacuation plan in place long before you may ever need it. It is a great time to sit down and have a family meeting to discuss the plan, in the event that you need it.
Having your emergency plan in place before you would ever have to put it into action will ensure that everyone remains safe and are accounted for.
Things to include in your emergency evacuation plan to prepare for hurricane season:
- How will you guys stay in contact with each other?
- If you are separated, where will you meet up?
- Who will be in charge of the emergency kit?
- What to do if someone gets hurt.
- Places you should not go or hide.
- Have an emergency plan for pets and what to do if your pets have to travel with you.
These things are just a few things to include. Other things you may consider is who will be in charge of family medications or things you shouldn’t touch when a hurricane is going on. The next thing you need to do is prepare an emergency kit.
Also, it would be a good time before hurricane season even shows up to take a basic CPR class & first aid class. Local community colleges or hospitals offer them throughout the year and are generally for a nominal cost.
Also, make sure your car is ready for evacuation by keeping it road trip ready & filling the tank before the storm hits.
Things To Consider For Your Hurricane Emergency Kit
So what is an emergency kit? It isn’t a first aid kit, but I will discuss how to create a well-stocked one below. Your emergency kit will contain things like:
- A copy of your emergency plan. I suggest that once your plan is finalized, take it to your local office supply store and make copies. Then have them laminated to prevent water damage.
- Copies of birth certificates, drivers licenses, and social security cards. If you have an iPhone you can download them to your Apple Wallet. A portable thumb drive is a great alternative as well.
- Copies of medication labels that show medication name, dose, and directions on use. If your doctor will allow it, have back-up scripts for your medication in case you need to fill them at a different pharmacy.
- Phone numbers and directions of the local hospital, pharmacy, and physician’s office.
- A copy of your phone, cable, & electric bills. These will have important phone numbers as well as your account IDs. If you can’t call from your home, operators will ask for this information.
- A current copy of your homeowners insurance, car insurance, and life insurance.
- If you have a safe deposit box at a bank, have an extra copy of the key in this box.
- A copy of your wills, power of attorney/medical power of attorney and living will, if possible. You may not want to think about it, but in an emergency, things may happen where these documents are necessary.
Once you have all this information together, purchase a waterproof/fireproof portable box, and place these items inside. Place it in a secure location that can be easily accessed in a hurry. Remember your emergency plan? This is the box that your designated person needs to grab on the way out the door.
These are vital things to have in case you have to be evacuated to another town or state. Since phones may be down and you can’t access phone number contacts, having them written down on paper in a safe location will be a good thing to help you to prepare for hurricanes.
Supplies Needed Beyond The Obvious For Hurricane Survival
Everyone knows how important it is to stay stocked up on non-perishables, lots of bottled water, energy bars, and other foods that don’t require cooking. If you have young babies, make sure you have powdered formula to mix with the bottled water. And don’t forget your pets, having extra food on hand is important for them as well.
Here are a few things that you may never had thought you needed to prepare for hurricanes, but you will certainly be grateful that you have them.
- Baby wipes.These are great not only for caring for babies, but they can be used in an emergency for cleaning wounds or hands if you can’t wash them.
- A corded phone with a long wire. Analog phones work without power, so if you still have a landline, you can make calls with it.
- Disposable plates, cups, and cutlery. For eating dinners when you don’t have any place to wash dishes.
- Heavy duty garbage bags with strong ties. These are great for garbage and for attending to personal needs when plumbing is not readily available.
- A metal trash can at a convenient height. Used in conjunction with the garbage bags, this can be used as a place for personal waste disposal.
- Extra deodorant and scented wet wipes/personal care cloths. If you are stuck in close quarters and can’t shower, these can be used in a pinch.
- A hand crank for power and/or heavy duty power block. The heavy duty power block can charge several phones. I recommend that you charge it and leave it plugged in as long as you can before the hurricane hits and you lose power. Use the hand crank for emergency calls. And remember, don’t waste your phone’s battery life on Facebook or other social media.
- Flavor packets for the water. Dehydration is a very real danger in natural disasters. Sometimes kids don’t drink as much as they should because water is plain. Having a few flavor packets can help make sure they stay hydrated.
When I first started researching about how to prepare for hurricane season, these are several of the items that I never would have thought of, but I was glad that I could add it to our kit.
Easy Ideas For A Hurricane First Aid Kit That You Won’t Regret Having
A hurricane first aid kit goes beyond the basics like bandaids, alcohol swabs, and other bandages. Because there is so much uncertainty when it comes to the length of time you may not be able to get to fresh supplies, having a well-stocked first aid kit will really be a blessing to all that need it it.
What you should include in your emergency first aid kit:
- Wound cleansing and bandaging supplies (Including finger splints & bandage scissors)
- Tylenol, Advil, and Naproxen pain relievers
- Benadryl tablets and cream
- Alcohol swabs
- Anti-gas pills
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Allergy medication
- Saline nose spray and saline eye drops
- Topical burn spray
- Antacid or other stomach-calming medication
- Suntan lotion or spray
- Aloe lotion for burns
If you don’t want to make your own, be sure to purchase a fully stocked premade kit. Remember that basic first aid class you took? Now you know what you need to do with the contents. The knowledge is priceless, and you will never know when you may need it.
Must-Have Items For Your Emergency Hurricane Kit
Final Thoughts On How To Prepare For Hurricane Season
Hurricanes and other natural weather disasters are getting more common in areas that they don’t normally hit. So it is up to us to be prepared for any situation because sometimes you don’t know what will happen. Being prepared and knowing what to do can save your life, and the lives of others.
A few more tips for staying safe after a hurricane has hit:
- Don’t drive through large puddles, you never know how deep they are
- Stay away from windows in case of blowing objects
- Never touch any downed wires because you don’t know if they are live
A little common sense and lots of knowledge are all parts of how to prepare for hurricane season…even if you don’t normally experience them.