2002-09-28 / Community

Be Prepared During Hurricane Season

Be Prepared During Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30 and hurricane experts are warning the public against "hurricane amnesia." According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it has been two years since a hurricane has hit the U.S. coast. "Despite the incredible devastation these storms can cause, it is easy for people to forget the awesome power of a hurricane," said Les Mertins, manager of Allstate Insurance Company’s National Catastrophe Team. "The reality is that we’ve been extremely lucky the past two years and Allstate wants to make sure your home and family are prepared."

Allstate suggests it’s best to be ready and make sure you are financially and physically prepared for a storm. "Waiting until a hurricane watch or warning is issued may be too late for some easy steps that could make evacuation and recovery much easier on you and your family," Mertins said.

Prepare a disaster supplies kit including: a three-day supply of water and ready-to-eat non-perishable foods; manual can opener; paper plates, cups and disposal utensils; personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, towelettes, feminine supplies, soap and detergent; change of clothing, including extra shoes or work boots and rain gear; blankets and/or sleeping bags (one for each family member); special needs items for each family member such as baby supplies, eyeglass/contact lenses, medications; cash, traveler’s checks or credit card.

Organize important paperwork in waterproof, easily transportable containers. Include financial information, important phone numbers, wills, insurance policies, immunization records and passports. Plan to take these with you if evacuated.

Prepare an inventory of your personal property and videotape your household contents for record purposes.

Teach family members when and how to safely shut off utilities.

Trim dead or weak branches from trees.

Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Consider purchasing flood insurance, even if you don’t live in a flood hazard zone. Regular homeowner’s policies usually do not cover flood damage. So, plan ahead because flood policies have a 30-day waiting period prior to being effective.

Get familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plan and develop a family disaster response plan.

Contact your local American Red Cross Chapter or Emergency Management Agency for a community evacuation route map and a list of nearby shelters.

Assure that emergency lights and flashlights are in proper working order.

Keep portable and battery-operated weather radios with extra batteries readily available.

Assemble a first-aid kit; include medications such as aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever, antacid and anti-diarrhea medication. Also include bandages, gauze, scissors, safety pins and sunscreen.

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