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Hurricane Season Preparations

A Quick Reference Guide to Hurricane Preparedness



(Hurricane Sally, September 2020)


Now that we have the Independence Day celebrations behind us, we can focus on something else that summertime brings us every year--Hurricane Season. For those of you who don't regularly keep track of the season until a major storm a-brewing makes it to the evening news, the official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st and runs through November 30th. Now, we don't regularly get "the big storms" until about mid-August and September, but its still a possibility. So for everyone living along the coastal areas and within the sound of my voice, so to speak, the time to start getting your preps together for hurricane season was yesterday.


Here at the Outpost, we have found that living in the beautiful Florida Panhandle grants us the privilege of enjoying breathtaking beaches and warm weather year-round. But for six months out of the year, we also have to keep a weather-eye out for these storms. Whether you're a long-time resident or a newcomer to the Gulf coast, it's crucial to prioritize hurricane preparedness in order to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property. In this blog post, we'll guide you through a comprehensive plan that we use to prepare for the current hurricane season.


1. Create an Emergency Kit:

As hurricane season approaches, preparing an emergency kit is paramount. It should include essential supplies such as:


Water:

Water is the most critical item in any emergency kit. It's recommended to have at least one gallon of water per person, per day, for a minimum of three days. This includes water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Store water in sturdy, airtight containers, and remember to replace it every six months.


Non-perishable Food:

Stock up on canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, and other non-perishable food items that can be consumed without the need for cooking or refrigeration. Aim to have enough food to sustain each person for a minimum of three days. Don't forget to consider special dietary needs and dietary restrictions, such as infant formula, pet food, or gluten-free options.



Battery-Powered or Hand-Crank Radio:

A battery-powered or hand-crank radio is crucial to stay updated on weather conditions, emergency broadcasts, and advisories. Ensure you have extra batteries (if not a hand-cranked powered unit) to keep the radio functioning even if the power goes out for an extended period.




Flashlights and Extra Batteries:

Having multiple reliable flashlights and extra batteries is essential during power outages or other emergencies that result in darkness. LED flashlights are recommended due to their long battery life and durability. Consider including glow sticks or battery-operated lanterns for additional light sources.



First Aid Kit:

A well-stocked and up-to-date first aid kit is essential for addressing minor injuries and medical needs. It should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, pain relievers, disposable gloves, scissors, tweezers, and any necessary prescription medications. Familiarize yourself with the contents of your first aid kit and how to use them effectively.


Personal Hygiene Items:

Include personal hygiene items such as moist towelettes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, facial tissues, feminine hygiene products, and any necessary toiletries. These items will help maintain cleanliness and hygiene during challenging times.


Important Documents and Cash:

Keep copies of essential documents like identification cards, insurance policies, and personal contacts in a waterproof container. Having cash on hand, in smaller denominations, is beneficial in case ATMs or credit card processing systems become inaccessible.

Extra Clothing and Blankets:

Pack a change of clothes for each family member, including sturdy shoes, socks, and waterproof outerwear. Make sure to include blankets, sleeping bags, or warmers to stay comfortable in the event of a prolonged power outage or displacement.

Special Considerations:

If you have infants, elderly family members, or individuals with specific medical needs, ensure you have additional supplies tailored to their requirements. This may include baby food, diapers, medications, medical equipment, or mobility aids.


Entertainment and Comfort:

To help alleviate stress, include some form of entertainment, such as books, playing cards, puzzles, or board games. Also, include comfort items such as stuffed animals or special blankets for children and pets, to help them feel secure during uncertain times.

Don't forget to periodically update and replenish your emergency kit as needed.


2. Develop a Communication Plan:

In the event of a hurricane, it's crucial to have a communication plan in place with your family members and loved ones. Designate a central contact that everyone can reach out to for updates and coordination. Additionally, ensure that everyone is familiar with emergency and evacuation routes, and decide on a safe meeting place in case you're separated.


3. Secure Your Property:

Preparing your property before a hurricane can significantly minimize potential damage. Trim trees, secure loose objects, and store outdoor furniture. Install storm shutters or plywood boarding to protect windows, and reinforce garage doors. Take photographs or videos of your property and valuable possessions for insurance purposes.


4. Review Insurance Coverage:

Reviewing your insurance coverage is important to ensure you're adequately protected in case of hurricane-related damage. Check if you have sufficient coverage for windstorm and flood damage. Understand your policy deductibles, exclusions, and limits, and consider purchasing additional coverage if needed.


5. Stay Informed:

Monitor trusted sources of information like the National Hurricane Center, local news channels, or weather apps to stay up to date with the latest developments during hurricane season. Be aware of watches, warnings, and evacuation orders issued by local authorities. Stay tuned to emergency alerts and heed the instructions provided.


6. Evacuation Plan:

If an evacuation order is issued, follow it extra-promptly and adhere to instructions from local authorities. Plan in advance where you'll go, whether it's a shelter, friend or family member's home, or a hotel located in a safe zone. Finally, if you're going to bug-out, go early before the evacuation routes are jammed. Many may recall the Houston area during the 2005 Hurricane Rita event in which thousands were in standstill traffic jams for hours, running out of gas. Remember, in an emergency, it's better to be safe than sorry.


"In the Houston area, the muddled flight from the city killed almost as many people as Rita did. an estimated 2.5 million people hit the road ahead of the storm’s arrival, creating some of the most insane gridlock in U.S. history. More than 100 evacuees died in the exodus. Drivers waited in traffic for 20-plus hours, and heat stroke impaired or killed dozens. Fights broke out on the highway. A bus carrying nursing home evacuees caught fire, and 24 died."

(Evacuees fleeing Houston in advance of Hurricane Rita's landfall in 2005)


As hurricane season rolls in, it's crucial to prioritize preparedness to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property. By understanding and following these guidelines you'll be well-equipped to weather any storm that may come your way. In the face of hurricanes, being proactive and well-prepared is the key to staying safe and minimizing potential damage. Stay safe, y'all.

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