Did you know that approximately 85 hurricanes occur each year worldwide? However, flash floods are the most frequent natural disaster to occur in the United States and are the cause behind the most weather related deaths.
You may be thinking to yourself that you don’t need to know this information because you live inland, or in a dry state. However, one day you may vacation in an area where these two natural disasters are prevalent, in which case, you may find yourself in one, or both, of these situations. Hurricane season goes from June to November each year, and flash flood season often begins in September (unless brought on by a hurricane). Therefore, it is always a good idea to be prepared for every possible situation you may find yourself in. Additionally, many people tend to find themselves unaware of how to prep for these disasters and end up putting themselves, and their families, in more of harm’s way. So how do you prepare yourself and your family for such occurrences?
First off, if you are under a hurricane warning: seek shelter immediately and listen for updates via the Emergency Broadcast System. Even if the storm isn’t as massive as you may think, it’s always important to follow the action plans your state has in place for such occurrences. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Take refuge as soon as you are able to. The best place to seek shelter from a hurricane is ideally in a designated storm shelter but realistically not everyone will be able to get to one. If you can’t, your best shelter is an upper level interior room, this protects you both from flooding and high winds. Use only outside generators and stay away from windows. Besides the community plans, make your own plans for evacuation and shelter locations by doing the following:
- Gather needed supplies while keeping everyone’s medical needs in mind, as well as any other specific need each person may have. Don’t forget about your pets!
- Gather supplies for at least three days.
- You will want to make sure that all of your important documents are in a safe and secure location, a safe way is by transferring all important documents and family photos to digital copies with password protection on them.
- Remember to always stay up to date on your insurance policies.
If you are having a hard time knowing what to pack, visit either my company, Southern Belle Products’ Survival collection or FEMA’s site for more information.
The most important advice I can give is to always evacuate. The best way to know that you and your family are safe, is to leave the dangerous areas and stay ahead of the storms. If you stay behind after the government issues evacuations, you can get trapped and it will become harder for you to get out later on down the road. Not only would it endanger your lives, but also the lives of the first responders that would be sent in to rescue you. Once flooding starts, it becomes more and more dangerous for you, so always remember the following:
- Do NOT drive or walk through flooded areas
- Remember: “Turn around, don’t drown“
- Stay away from moving water because you never know when the water will speed up and wash everything in its path away
- Your best chance, if you do stay behind, is to get to the highest ground possible and wait for emergency response teams and rescuers
- If flooding in your area is possible, you should always be prepared to move to higher ground or leave at short notice
While we get into more of flood and hurricane season, it is always best to be prepared, never rule out the possibility of a natural disaster hitting around where you live. Stay safe and always be prepared!
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Sources: Hurricanes, FEMA: How to Prepare for Flood, Hurricanes Occur, and Floods Occur