Help your family, friends plan for hurricane season

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Even though hurricane season in the Atlantic begins in June, the most devastating storms for North Carolina – Hazel, Hugo, Fran and Floyd – have all arrived in the fall.

There's no time better than now to prepare yourself and your family for the possibility of power outages and storm damage.

The National Hurricane Center recommends every household develop a family disaster plan, including these steps:

  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and nearby places to meet.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Keep vehicles filled with fuel whenever bad weather threatens this area. In an outage, gas pumps may not operate.
  • Use NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Stock up on vital supplies

The National Hurricane Center suggests households keep several items on hand to help them through power outages and times when roads might be impassable.

These include:

  • Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
  • Food –  at least enough for 3 to 7 days, including non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices;  foods for infants or the elderly;  snack foods.
  • Food preparation items , including a non-electric can opener, gas grill and fuel,  paper plates  and plastic utensils
  • Blankets  and pillows
  • Seasonal clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • First Aid kit, medicines and prescription drugs
  • Toiletries , hygiene items and moist wipes
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery-operated NOAA weather radio
  • Fully charged cell phone with extra battery
  • Cash (with some small bills) and credit cards (banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods).
  • Keys
  • Toys, books and games
  • Important documents -— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc  -- in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag.
  • Tools

If people have pets, they should also stock pet care items, including food, water and medicines; immunization records ,carriers or cages; and leashes.

Check your insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program, is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program designed to reduce the escalating cost of disasters. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners

Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. Do not make assumptions. Check your policy.

For more information call 1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445, TDD# 1-800-427-5593.