The season started early again. The U.S. is proposing to start each year’s Atlantic hurricane season to begin on May 15th every year. If officials decide this year to move its formal start date up by two weeks or on May 1st. The decision will be made during meetings held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO). 2022 is the earliest that the start date can be officially changed. The proposal changes are based on climate change and the possibilities of the hurricane season being more unpredictable and that advanced technology makes it easier to spot tropical storms early in the season. I will keep you informed of any of such changes as they happen. Meantime, be ready. I am sharing some helpful tips and pointers to be prepared before the storm!
Tips: Preparedness Before, During & After Tropical Weather:
Here are tips before the storm, a lot of these should generally be maintained before a hurricane watch is issued, months before a prediction is made:
PREPARATION BEFORE A HURRICANE:
- Strap down the roof. Using hurricane straps/clips to fastening your home’s roof to the frame of the house, thus reducing any roof damage.
- Put head plus foot bolts on all entry doors.
- Buy or make window covers and storm shutters. Board up any remaining windows. Make sure all glass is covered no matter how small to reduce debris.
- Take any antennae and satellite equipment down.
- Caulk around the doors and windows.
- Secure and protect all attached structures. Make sure all patio furniture, grills are put away or get it into your house. Turn off propane and try to cover them if possible.
- Test the sump pumps and drains, and make sure the back-flow flap valves are operating to assure that water does not back up from the drain pipe.
- Turn off ALL utilities at the shut-off valves, and trip the electric main. Pull out all the unnecessary plugs at every receptacle in case of lightning strikes after possible submersion. Do not unplug the refrigerator and/or freezers. Make sure that you have battery operated security as it is not safe to leave AC on during a storm.
- Take before photos to have handy for your information and insurance purposes. They may be necessary to assist your later damages from the storm.
The instance that you hear, several days before onslaught, put off Xbox and all hobbies and get adequate sleep, because once you are going to make a decision and prepare if the hurricane looks like it is going to hit, you are going to need this sleep very badly. DO NOT think for a minute that you can stay and ride out the storm!! Reporters dispatched out into the storm are trained individuals who undergo years of training and underlying experiences, so don’t even think that going out on a whim to stay and see the hurricane is a viable option. When the authorities state that it is unsafe to stay, get ready right away! Do NOT wait until it is too late. Procrastination is your worst enemy, as a bad rush hour is a baby compared to trying to get out late in a hurricane. This is why a lot of times all lanes of highways go the same way–OUT!
- When authorities say to evacuate, DO NOT argue, and do so immediately.
- Make sure you bring proper ID, you will need it to get back when the storm has passed.
- Leave and mobile homes and to go to a nearby shelter.
- If your home is not on high ground or in a flood plain, go to a shelter.
Make sure you do not forget anything at home, because you will not be able to return to home one you leave! The authorities WILL NOT allow you to go back once you make your move for any reason, as they do not have time to deal with security issues and are trained to make sure everyone is getting out. If you wait too long and cannot evacuate, if you have an emergency, a lot of times there may be no assistance for you in an emergency. Phone lines are down even in this computer age, and emergency individuals are swarmed with work, and a lot of people already evacuated. Here are some survival tips:+
DURING A HURRICANE:
- Always stay indoors during a hurricane, and do not venture outside because strong winds will blow things around. The force of a flying object can be deadly or devastating.
- Make sure you know low-lying and flood prone areas, and STAY AWAY. Once water covers, you will not know how low they really are. Do not walk on the flooded areas, as manhole covers wash away, and the chance of falling into a crevice is very dangerous.
- Stay informed by monitoring the storm by radio, and if power is still an option, plug in the TV, and/or internet. A battery operated NOAA.com weather radio is most helpful.
- Avoid the phone, except for a serious emergency.
Stay alert for extended rainfall and all subsequent flooding after the hurricane has passed and tropical storm has moved out of the area. If you evacuated, return only when the officials approve say it is safe. Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out areas. Have ID ready as checkpoints only allow officials, media, cleared parties and people with proper credentials to pass for safety and security.
Here are After the Storm tips:
AFTER A HURRICANE:
Access any and all damages carefully and pay attention to safety, including embedded glass and shrapnel. Have a first aid kit handy.
- Call insurance and only follow the following tips after proper accessing has been done, and don’t forget to take photos first before you fix damages. keep all receipts for supplies, fixing–for insurance or to claim a loss.
- Access the possibility and turn on utilities ONLY if possible, plug in at every receptacle in case of lightning strikes after possible submersion. Make sure that you have battery operated security as it is not safe to leave AC on during a storm.
- Access stability and remove the straps on the roof. Remove hurricane straps/clips to fastening your home’s roof to the frame of the house, thus reducing any roof damage.
- Remove any head/foot bolts on entry doors.
- Remove or higher window covers and storm shutters. Carefully take all board-up and covering down/off.
- Re-install antennae and satellite equipment.
- Take down the strapping from secured attached structures. Re-position all patio furniture, grills, etc. Turn on propane and hook up utilities if possible.
- Check the sump pumps and drains, and make sure they are operating properly to assure that they are ready for subsequent storms.
- It may take several weeks to dispose of refuse, make sure if any waste is hazardous to dispose of properly.
- Fix the decor to return everything to it’s normal state.
The good news of a hurricane, is that they are the most predictable storm on the planet. Except in the late hurricane season of late October and November hurricanes usually move at predictable speeds, and are seen days ahead of time. The problem is that in true reality, if you know that you are in a hurricane zone, you really should play it smart and be prepared with plenty of supplies that are put away in a close storage area, so that the only thing you need to do to prepare for an oncoming hurricane is boarding up and getting out.
A hurricane is a nasty fact of life, but truly is necessary for the world to exist as it does. Hurricanes are mother nature’s control and thermostat to ensure that the oceans do not overheat. The hurricane sheds heat off the ocean surface and casts the heat into outer space really fast. They are true heat vacuums. The cores of heat shed from hurricanes make the ceilings of heat from 5 times to sometimes fifty times higher in altitude. It is the only time heat ever goes this high up. The price? The waters of the tropical oceans pay a high price in lost ocean wildlife and damage to underwater vegetation including the coral reef if the oceans are too warm. Hurricanes also pull the continental weather down further south in this hemisphere to ensure that the polar weather doesn’t get so intense in the tundra areas, so that vegetation can exist. Hurricanes absolutely need to exist if we want to live on earth. They are not going away, and we need to be prepared, and be safe.
RESOURCES & RECOVERY AFTER DISASTER: THE HOME & FAMILY + FINANCIAL TOOLKIT:
There are many disaster and emergency preparedness and assistance resources available for you to help you through the hard times rebuilding:
- American Red Cross: redcross.org
- American Red Cross – Contact and Locate Loved Ones: redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief/contact-and-locate-loved-ones
- American Red Cross – Find an Open Shelter: redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery/find-an-open-shelter
- American Red Cross – Safe and Well: 1-800-RedCross (1-800-733-2767)
- Apps – American Red Cross: redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps. Separate apps cover the subjects of: blood, earthquake, emergency, first aid, flooding, hero care, hurricanes, pet first aid, tornadoes, and wildfires.
- Pet owner disaster preparation and assistance (ASPCA): aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/aspca-mobile-app. This can assist with personalized missing pet recovery kits, creating digital lost pet flyers that can be shared instantly on the user’s social networks, advice on what to do with your pet before, during and after a storm or natural disaster, and the ability store a pet’s vital medical records and dietary needs, which can shave off precious time in the event of an emergency. This information can be easily stored and shared for your convenience as well.
- DisasterAssistance.gov: disasterassistance.gov provides information on how you might be able to get help from the U.S. Government before, during and after a disaster. If the President makes help available to individuals in your community after a disaster, you can visit this site to apply online.
- Disaster Distress Helpline: disasterdistress.samhsa.gov SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters and is dedicated to providing year-round immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.
- Call: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): fema.gov FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
- Military OneSource: militaryonesource.mil Offers various articles and resources for emergency preparedness and natural disasters.
- Money Management in Times of Disaster: personal-finance.extension.org/money-management-in-times-of-disaster with information about Money Management during times of disaster:
- Money management in times of disaster: Preparation
- Returning to your damaged home
- Managing finances and making decisions after a disaster
- Ready.gov: ready.gov Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. Ready and its Spanish language version Listo ask individuals to do three key things: (1) build an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.
- Sesame Street (Emergency Toolkits): sesamestreet.org/toolkits/emergencies has simple and easy resources to help you help children and others recover from an emergency.
- The National Terror Alert Response Center: nationalterroralert.com is a private homeland security blog and not affiliated with any government agency. We archive and comment on homeland security related news items from a variety of news sources and tips, as well as provide immediate updates on breaking stories, bulletins and any change in status to Homeland Security advisory. Nationalterroralert.com has become America’s leading source for homeland security news and information. A collaborative resource of news and analysis related to homeland security events, threats and trends. The National Terror Alert Response Network promotes homeland security emergency preparedness through awareness, education, community involvement and partnerships between individuals, groups and organizations. We strive to chronicle homeland security related news, trends and events in an effort to create national awareness and focus. It is our belief that through education and awareness some instances of terrorism may be prevented and through preparedness lives can be saved.
- TriCare: tricare.mil/disasterinfo In the event of a natural disaster, TriCare US Family Health Plan will post disaster-related information on their homepage. It’s important to know that your TriCare benefits will be maintained during any time of crisis. In the event of evacuation, please take the necessary precautions. In the case of an emergency, dial 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room. Click on an icon below (on the TriCare website) to read alerts and emergency information in your area.
- TriCare emergency prescription refills: At times during emergencies, TriCare may authorize early refills for prescriptions. You will be notified via this site if early refills re authorized. TriCare officials remind beneficiaries that early refills are only authorized for beneficiaries who specifically indicate they are impacted by the emergency event.
- Weather Related Resources:
FIND YOUR LOCAL NOAA.com WEATHER RADIO STATION:
FIND YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST:
VersaTileer PREPAREDNESS/COMMONSENSE TIPS & POINTERS: