Hurricane season is officially upon us, and if you live or work on or near the East or Gulf Coast, it's time to brush off your plans and start looking at what to expect for yourself and from your site. Hurricane season runs June 1 - November 30, with an average of 10 named storms occurring each season, with roughly half of them becoming hurricanes and half of those turning into major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).
Know the Difference
There are two kinds of warnings when it comes to hurricanes: a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. Here's the difference:
- A hurricane watch is when hurricane conditions are possible for your area. A watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the expected start of the storm. It's important to stay tuned for more information. During a watch, prepare your home and review your plans for if it turns into a warning.
- A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected within a specific area. A warning is issued 36 hours in advance. If you are advised to evacuate, it's best that you do so.
Are You Prepared?
If you are a first responder or security guard, you'll be excepted to report for duty despite the conditions, so it's important to have your own personal plans in order . Here are a few factors to consider if an emergency strikes:
- You'll be needed to respond and be able to come to your site.
- How will you get to the location you're needed at?
- Is your phone charged/do you have an external power source?
- Is your home prepared for the storm and your family taken care of?
It can be a stressful and scary situation to be in. Here are a few more tips:
- Make a plan,
- Gather emergency supplies,
- Get your car, family, and home ready,
- Prepare to evacuate or stay at home.
When it comes to preparing your home, there's a lot more to think about than just gathering emergency supplies and boarding up your windows. Your home is like your bag. If you don’t have access to it, what are you going to do? While we live in a time where we can easily navigate life on our laptops or phones if an emergency happens, when it comes to being prepared, your plan should include more than that.
Experts say all of your documents should be uploaded onto a cloud system, such as insurance or emergency papers and contacts. This could end up being a major factor if your home gets hit by a hurricane. The cloud ensures there would be minimal to no interruptions so you can work to get your life back on track.
What to do Before
It's vital not to leave preparation to the last minute. There are a number of things you can do in order to be prepared before the storm hits, such as:
- Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees. This could help prevent a tree falling onto your house.
- Secure everything on your property that could be blown away.
- Board up windows and doors.
- Have your emergency kit ready.
When the storm hits...
- Be prepared to evacuate without much notice.
- Keep tuned in to your local news/weather station.
- Get to higher ground or stay in a safe, dry area until the storm passes.
Just because the storm is over, it doesn't mean you can let your guard down.
- Stay tuned to your local radio or news outlet.
- Know the weather and what's expected.
- Don't enter your home if it isn't safe to do so.
- Do not use the water as it could be contaminated.
- Take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes.
Click here for more information from the CDC.
Emergency Preparedness Point of View
Anjanette Hebert, PalAmerican's VP of Healthcare, was part of the CajunDome emergency team when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Listen to her story below!