About six months ago, experts from the Global Weather Oscillations (GWO) predicted an extremely active and dangerous hurricane season this year. However, more recent predictions from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and The Weather Channel are exactly the opposite. These experts are stating they believe we will have a quieter than normal season in 2015. Since GWO, NOAA and TWC are all pretty good at predicting the rate and severity of hurricanes, it’s really unclear what we should expect.
Since we don’t know what to expect, it’s important to prepare!
Protecting your Home
* Get shutters for all your windows, have them ready and make sure they are free from damage. Keep the shutters together along with hammers, nails and a ladder during the entire season. If it turns out you need to hang them, having everything together makes life easier. NOTE: taping windows does not help. It can actually make the damage worse.
* Get your roof inspected. Many roofs lack hurricane straps which can be added to help keep your roof intact. Fix and repair any leaks, loose roof tiles and brace gable ends.
* Contact your insurance company to make sure you have adequate coverage and know what to do should a hurricane hit.
Protecting your Family
* Get your bags packed! Prepare emergency preparedness kits that include bottled water, first aid supplies, a battery operated radio and food.
* Plan your evacuation route. Make plans on where to meet and where you are going should an evacuation order come through. If your family is scattered, have a centralized place to meet or a centralized phone number to call after the storm passes through to ensure that everyone is OK.
* Protect your financial papers. Scan in copies of important documents such as a household inventory, wills, deeds, trusts, marriage certificates, birth certificates and insurance policies. Save these to a safe and secure remote location (such as a Google Drive or Dropbox) that can be accessed from anywhere, but only if the right password is entered. Hint: Use a complex password and all available authentications for these sites since they contain personal information.
Protecting your Pets
* Don’t forget Fido. Your pet needs his own evacuation kit which includes extra food, water dishes, medications, photos, extra leashes and a record of current vaccinations.
* Create a tag for his collar that includes a contact name and phone number.
* Get your pet chipped. If found, the chip can help you reunite with your pet. Make sure to keep the information related to the microchip up to date with phone numbers and contact names.
* Get a travel crate or portable home for your pet. Most storms are scary for animals and a crate or smaller home can help provide a feeling of comfort and wellbeing.