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Hurricane News

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Hurricane Safety Tips

By NOAA Office of Meteorology and WeatherBug Meteorologists

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Hurricane Season has started, so now is a good time get things ready for the season ahead.

What should you do to prepare before hurricane season starts?

  • Assemble a Disaster Supply kit. Items you will need are usually scattered around the house. These should be kept in one place for easier access. Some things to include are:
    • Water -- 1 gallon per day per person for 3-7 days
    • First Aid Kit/Medicine/Prescription Drugs
    • Food for 3-7 days including non-perishables, cooking tools/fuel, food for infants/elderly
    • Important documents/Identification/Insurance information in waterproof/watertight container
    • Blankets/Pillows/Clothing like seasonal attire and rain gear
    • Toiletries/Hygiene items/Moisture Wipes
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Flashlight (one per person) and extra batteries
    • Telephones -- fully charged cell phone with extra battery and traditional, corded phone
    • Cash -- including small bills and Credit cards
    • Keys and Tools
    • Toys, Books, and Games
    • Pet care items
  • Write out a Family Disaster plan. Discuss possible hazards and evacuation route and list an out-of-town contact. Locate the safest room in your home or community for each hurricane hazard.

What warnings are issued for hurricanes and how can you prepare?

A Hurricane or Tropical Storm Watch means that Hurricane or Tropical Storm conditions are likely to occur in the watch area within the next 36 hours.

  • Make sure the family vehicles are in good condition and have a full tank of gas.
  • Inspect and secure mobile home tie downs.
  • Be prepared to cover all window and door openings with shutters or other shielding materials.
  • Check your Disaster kit, making sure it is fully stocked.
  • Be prepared to bring lawn furniture and other loose, light-weight objects - such as garbage cans and garden tools - inside.
  • Make sure you have an extra supply of cash on hand.

A Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning means that Hurricane or Tropical Storm conditions are likely to occur in the warning area within the next 24 hours.

  • If asked to evacuate, do so without delay.
  • Stay tuned to WeatherBug, media outlets or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest information.
  • Complete preparation activities, such as putting up storm shutters, storing loose objects, etc.
  • If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows. Leave mobile homes in any case.
  • Be aware that the calm eye is deceptive; the storm is by no means over. The worst part of the storm will occur once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by winds before the eye passes can be broken or destroyed by winds that hit after the eye passes.
  • Be alert for tornadoes. They can occur during a hurricane and after it passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.

If you are evacuating:

  • Leave in daylight, if possible.
  • Stay with friends or relatives, at a low-rise inland hotel/motel, or go to a designated public shelter outside a flood zone.
  • Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.
  • If possible, forward your home phone number to your wireless number.
  • If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.
  • Put food and water out for a pet or check local shelters about pet regulation. Recent changes in public health regulations allow pets in certain public shelters.

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Story photo contributed by WeatherBug user Michael G. Jameson in Jackson, Miss. Share your own photos via WeatherBug`s Your Photos section.

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