Despite forecasts that call for an active 2011 hurricane season, the tropics have been mostly quiet so far. However, even a relatively quiet season can be devastating if you happen to be in the path of the one big storm of the season. Just ask the people who were in the way of Hurricanne Andrew during the “quiet” 1992 storm season.
With that in mind, a quiet period in the tropics is a great time to get caught up on your hurricane preparations. Here are some suggestions that should help keep your last-minute scrambling to a minimum when the “big one” threatens Tampa Bay.
Check on your supply of water and non-perishable food. The National Hurricane Center recommends a 3 to 7 day supply of food and water per person. Each person should have a gallon per day. Remember, during the time immediately following a storm, police and fire units are going to make responding to life and death situations their top priority. The longer you can hold out on your own, the better for you and the first responderrs who can deal with the life and death matters.
Do you have the equipment you’re going to need for the post-storm cleanup? Work gloves, rakes, shovels, saws…all of them could be needed. Do you know how to use those tools properly? An awful lot of people who survive the storm end up getting injured or killed during the cleanup period. Getting even most basic first aid training and having a well stocked first aid kit could save someone the inconvenience of a trip to an emergency room. An emergency generator can be a big asset when the power’s out. But it can also be hazardous if it’s not set up in a well ventilated area where deadly exhaust fumes can dissipate safely. Don’t forget to keep plenty of cash on hand as banks and ATM’s may be offline for several days.
Some of those issues can be resolved at the last minute, but insurance is one that won’t wait. Homeowner’s often find out too late that their “comprehensive” policies don’t cover flooding and some other issues such as mold. The best time is NOW to check with your insurance agent and find out what your policy does and doesn’t cover. Above all, don’t forget to make sure your flood insurance is up to date and adequate.
You can see the National Hurricane Center’s recommendations for your hurricane by clicking here.
For up to date evacuation zones and shelter lists from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council click here.
For a list of items not covered by most home owner’s insurance policies click here.
You can get important information about caring for your pet during a hurricane by clicking here.
Above all, stay informed! Bookmark the National Hurricane Center tropical update page after you click here.