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Preparing for a Hurricane: Family Safety & Essential Steps for Generator Owners

The peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season is approaching in mid-August. With the intense heat we’ve been seeing, comes warmer ocean and surface temperatures.

These are fueling changes that are leading to stronger and more dangerous storms, giving them the potential to deliver more damage if they make landfall. It’s crucial to take proactive steps to prepare for the potential impact of a powerful storm.

Hurricanes can be unpredictable and destructive, posing significant risks to life, property, and infrastructure. Follow these essential measures to ensure you and your family are well-prepared for a hurricane and its aftermath.

Stay Informed:
Stay informed about the latest updates from local authorities, meteorological agencies, and news outlets. Monitor weather forecasts and pay attention to any hurricane watches or warnings issued for your area. Being well-informed will give you valuable time to prepare and make decisions based on the situation’s severity.

Develop a Family Emergency Plan:
Create a comprehensive family emergency plan that outlines evacuation routes, meeting points, and contact information. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to family members to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of an evacuation or emergency.

Build an Emergency Kit:
Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential supplies to sustain your family for at least three days. The kit should include non-perishable food, drinking water, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, a battery-operated radio, medications, important documents (ID, insurance papers), cash, and personal hygiene items.

Secure Your Home:
Protect your home by installing storm shutters or boarding up windows to minimize damage from flying debris. Trim any overhanging trees or branches that could potentially damage your property during high winds. Reinforce garage doors and secure outdoor furniture and other loose items.

Consider a Standby Generator:
Investing in a standby generator is an excellent precautionary measure to ensure you have a reliable backup power source during prolonged outages. A standby generator can keep essential appliances running, provide lighting, and power vital medical equipment if needed.

Test Your Generator:
If you already have a standby generator, perform routine tests to verify its functionality. Test it under load conditions to ensure it can handle the electrical demand during a power outage. Regular testing will also give you confidence that your generator is ready to kick into action when required.

Plan for Evacuation:
If authorities issue evacuation orders, be ready to leave immediately. Keep your vehicle fueled and check its condition beforehand. Pack your emergency kit and important documents, and don’t forget to bring along your pets if evacuating to a pet-friendly shelter or accommodation.

Protect Important Documents:
Make digital copies of important documents like insurance policies, identification cards, birth certificates, and financial records. Store these copies securely online or on a portable hard drive and keep the originals in a waterproof container.

Stay Connected:
Have a communication plan in place to stay connected with family and friends during and after the hurricane. Text messages often work better than phone calls during emergencies when cellular networks are overloaded.

Evacuate Early if Necessary:
If you live in a flood-prone area or a region at high risk of storm surges, consider evacuating even before an official order is given. It’s always better to err on the side of caution to protect your family and yourself from potentially life-threatening situations.

After the Storm:
Once the hurricane passes, be cautious when returning home. Be aware of downed power lines, flooded areas, and other hazards. Inspect your home for damage, and contact authorities or professionals for assistance if needed.

By staying informed, creating a family emergency plan, assembling an emergency kit, securing your home, and considering a standby generator, you can minimize the impact of a hurricane on your family and property. Remember to follow evacuation orders if issued and exercise caution when returning home after the storm has passed. Being well-prepared can make a significant difference in keeping your family and home safe!