With June in full swing, those of us who live on the Atlantic Coast have now officially entered Hurricane season, which peaks between August and October and lasts until the end of November. During these months, the weather conditions are ripe for producing not only hurricanes, but also the severe tropical storms that can lead to hurricanes. These storms can be devastating for both people and property, but making preparations now can make it easier to weather the storms when they do arrive.
The American Red Cross provides an extensive hurricane preparedness checklist that covers what to do before, during and after a hurricane. As we are just entering into hurricane season, now is a good time to take some of those precautionary measures and put together your emergency supplies in the event that a hurricane or severe tropical storm hits our coastline.
- Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan: the location of local shelters, how to get to them, services available to family members with special needs, and what to do with family pets.
- Discuss your household evacuation plan and practice it with your family members.
- Educate yourself on what you should do when a hurricane actually happens
- Stock your hurricane emergency kit with some key equipment, including: A 3-day supply of water, estimating one gallon per person per day; A 3-day supply of non-perishable and easy to prepare food; Flashlight; Battery-powered or hand-crank radio; Extra batteries; Medical supplies—including a first aid kit and any routine necessary medical equipment; Family and emergency contact information and copies of personal documents such as passports, birth certificates, insurance policies; Emergency blankets, extra clothing and shoes, and rain gear; A multi-purpose tool and additional tools and supplies for securing your home
The Coast Guard also recently issued some recommendations for people who are boating enthusiasts—what to do if you are out on the water when a storm is moving in and how to protect your boat when it is tied up. First and foremost is to stay informed about developing storms. If you are out on the water, get to shore as quickly as possible, and be aware that drawbridges may change their schedules. The best way to protect your boat during the storm is to get it off the coastline and to an inland marina or stored in a place that will not flood.
When a hurricane is moving towards the coast, there isn’t always a lot of time to get prepared. A storm watch provides at most a 48-hour window of opportunity to prepare for a possible storm, while a warning only provides a maximum of 36 hours. Taking steps now to prepare for the unthinkable can get you through a hurricane and the days of chaos that are sure to follow.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.