Hurricane Preparedness - Family Plan in case of a hurricane
Have a family discussion about the types of hazards that could affect your family with a hurricane. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and tornadoes spawned by the hurricane and accompanying winds.
Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be in your home but within your community. Make sure to discuss this with all members of your household.
Sit down as a family and 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 sure that each household family member has this contact information.
Make a plan now for what to do with your family pets if you need to evacuate.
Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
Have a place to go
Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave!
Make sure you develop a family hurricane preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area. If your family hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location for any of the reason, then it is important to consider the following points:
If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure.
If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for your area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.
Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel in order to reach your intended shelter location.
In choosing your destination, keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering options in most inland metropolitan areas are likely to be filled very quickly in a large, multi-county hurricane evacuation event.
If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic.
The large number of people who must evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause massive delays and major congestion along most designated evacuation routes; the larger the storm, the greater the probability of traffic jams and extended travel times.
If possible, make arrangements to stay with the friend or relative who will not have to evacuate who resides closest to your home. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan well before the beginning of the hurricane season each year.
If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave.
Most hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. The longer you wait to make reservations, even if an official evacuation order has not been issued for your area or county, the less likely you are to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially along interstate highways and in major metropolitan areas.
If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as a last resort go to a shelter.
Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets. Bring your disaster supply kit with you to the shelter. Find Pet-Friendly hotels and motels if you have pets.