This month’s blog is just a reminder that this is hurricane season. The very high temperatures and the extremely intense rainstorms we are now living through can distract us from being prepared for the possibility of another hurricane.
During the 40+ years, I have lived in South Florida, I have been through some minor but also major hurricanes. Things can get very scary watching an impending storm, wondering if it will develop into a Category 3, 4, or 5.
Seeing whole communities devastated, like Country Walk in Dade County, is heartbreaking. Having no power or communications reminds us of how powerless we can really become. Fortunately, through the years, the availability of generators, cell towers, and hurricane-proof windows have made life a little easier.
However, flooded streets and downed trees can make navigation exceedingly difficult. It is critically important to listen to weather advisories, evacuate, if need be, and stock up with supplies for several days.
But maybe the most important thing we can do is to take an impending storm seriously. The key to living through hurricanes is to take it seriously and to be prepared.
Evacuating may be difficult because of roads jammed with people leaving the hurricane path. Hunkering down may be the only option for some people.
If you are going to hunker down, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests the following:
1. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm.
2. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
3. Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
Other governmental agencies recommend having the following for hurricane preparedness:
1. An emergency food and water supply, enough to last 3 days.
2. An emergency medicine supply and first aid kit
3. Personal hygiene and sanitation items
4. Emergency power sources such as flashlights (don’t forget extra batteries).
5. Waterproof container containing cash, important documents, including medical documents, wills, passports, and personal identification.
6. A fire extinguisher
7. Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
8. Manual can opener
9. Lighter or matches
10. Books, magazines, games for recreation
11. Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
12. Cooler and ice packs
13. A plan for evacuation and how to communicate if family members are separated
I hope we won’t have to face another hurricane but if so, let’s take it seriously and prepare now.