2002-09-26 / Other News

Some Things To Do When A Hurricane Blows Your Way

The Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30 and hurricane experts are warning the public against "hurricane amnesia." According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it has been two years since a hurricane has hit the U.S. coast.

"Waiting until a hurricane watch or warning is issued may be too late for some easy steps that could help make evacuation and recovery much easier on you and your family," said Les Mertins, manager of Allstate Insurance Company’s National Catastrophe Team..

Things You Should Do:

Prepare a disaster supplies kit including:

•A three-day supply of water and ready-to-eat non-perishable foods.

•Manual can opener.

•Paper plates, cups and disposable utensils.

•Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, towelettes, feminine supplies, soap, and detergent.

•Change of clothing, including extra shoes or work boots and rain gear.

•Blankets and/or sleeping bags (one for each family member).

•Special needs items for each family member such as baby supplies, eyeglasses/contact lenses,

medications.

•Cash, traveler’s checks or credit card.

•Organize important paperwork in waterproof, easily transportable containers. Include financial information, important phone numbers, wills, insurance policies, immunization records and passports. Plan to take these with you if evacuated.

•An inventory of your personal property and videotape your household contents for record purposes.

Here are more important tips: •Teach family members when and how to safely shut off utilities.

•Trim dead or weak branches from trees.

•Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage.

•Consider purchasing flood insurance, even if you don’t live in a flood hazard zone. Regular homeowner’s policies usually do not cover flood damage. So, plan ahead because flood policies have a 30-day waiting period prior to being effective.

•Get familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plan and develop a family disaster response plan.

•Contact your local American Red Cross Chapter or Emergency Management Agency for a community evacuation route map and a list of nearby shelters.

•Assure that emergency lights and flashlights are in proper working order.

•Keep portable and battery-operated weather radios with extra batteries readily available.

•Keep several flashlights and extra batteries easily accessible.

•Assemble a first-aid kit - include medications such as aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever, antacid

and anti-diarrhea medication. Also include bandages, gauze, scissors, safety pins and sunscreen.

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