Rock Talk

Hurricane Season: What you can do to prepare for the next big storm.

Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:42 pm

Katrina. Irene. Sandy. All three are now names for the history books. The season may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the next one isn’t right around the proverbial corner. Follow these tips to make sure you and your family are ready for the next one to come our way:

Develop and follow a family 9-1-1 communication plan. An out-of-state relative or friend can serve as your family’s main contact in an emergency. Make sure everyone knows the telephone number of this contact by heart, or has it handy so they can access it in a hurry.

Speaking of communications…Keep emergency numbers (fire, police, and ambulance) in a conspicuous spot by the phone. Teach children how to call 911 for help, and how to run to a designated neighbor’s for safety.

Don’t forget about your getaway vehicle. Your car should be placed in a garage and/or away from flood waters. You also should fill your car with gas before a storm in case you need to evacuate. General rule: always keep your tank at least half-full.

Shelter in place? Have a family emergency plan – make sure everyone in your family knows where to go and how to find each other during an emergency evacuation. Remember that cell phones may be down, so have a backup plan and place to meet if that happens and you are separated—which could happen during a work/school day. Choose a public place: your child’s school, for example, or another shelter-friendly place in or close to your neighborhood. Everyone in your family should know where to go and know how to get there.

Build a 3-day (minimum) emergency supply kit, which should include basic food supplies and water to keep you and your family going for a minimum of three days. In addition, you should have a 30-day supply of essential medications that you or your family members need. Some people prefer to create emergency backpacks for each family member, and store them in a convenient, safe place (on a shelf in your garage or mudroom, for example). Your emergency kit should include:

  • 3-day supply minimum of water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • 3-day supply minimum of non-perishable food (MREs, energy bars, nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, etc.)
  • Can opener for food (if your kit contains canned food items)
  • At least one change of clothing and shoes per person – sweatpants and sweatpants are comfortable and easy to store
  • One blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • First-aid kit
  • Battery-powered or solar/hand crank powered NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and a portable radio and extra batteries for each
  • Emergency tools
  • Flashlight, extra batteries
  • Extra set of car keys
  • Credit card and cash
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, baby wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Follow the news and weather reports. Stay on top of the weather and be ready for potential storms. Hurricanes that typically hit New England come from the south, giving you several days to stock up and prepare prior to landfall. Our ancestors didn’t have this luxury! Bookmark The Weather Channel (www.weather.com) or another weather service to stay up-to-date about developing weather systems that may impact you and your family.

For more safety and preparedness material, you can visit these websites:

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