As the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season swings into gear, emergency management officials across the Tampa Bay area want residents to have a plan in place.
But what exactly does that mean?
According to the National Hurricane Center, there’s more to it than just stocking up on water and nonperishable food.
Here’s a checklist of things the center recommends residents do in advance of hurricane season:
- Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
- Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In some circumstances, the safest areas may not be in your home, but within your community.
- Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
- Post emergency telephone numbers beside your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911. (You can also add emergency numbers to your cellphone contact list for easy reference.)
- Check your insurance coverage — flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
- Stock nonperishable emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit.
- Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every six months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
- Take first aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
Source: National Weather Service
For more tips on storm preparedness, just click on the "2012 Hurricane Guide" link below, or visit Pinellas County Emergency Management online.