With the Florida hurricane season almost upon us, it’s important to make sure you’re ready. A family disaster plan and a disaster supply kit are two important actions you can take to make sure you’re not caught out if a hurricane cuts off your electricity, isolates you in your home, or forces you to evacuate.
Hurricane season is fast approaching for those of us living in Florida. With it comes the risk of heavy winds and floods that can do plenty of damage to our homes. It’s time to dust off disaster supply kits and make sure they’re full of all the supplies you might need, and make sure your family knows what to do in the event of a hurricane.
Your Family Disaster Plan
A disaster plan is simply an action plan that you’ll carry out if a hazard affects your home and family. It includes preparation activities you do before the hazard becomes a threat, and activities you might need to carry out during a storm or other emergency.
- Determine the types of hazards you might be affected by, and how your home is most vulnerable. Check out some ways in which you can minimize the risk of damage or safety threats during a storm.
- Check your insurance and make sure you’re covered for flood damage in some way (standard homeowner’s insurance rarely covers floods).
- Take classes in CPR, first aid, and disaster preparedness.
- Locate rooms or areas in your home which are safe from hurricane hazards. Generally this will be an interior room which has no windows.
- Determine escape routes from your home (these might vary depending on the hazard involved) and choose one or more meeting places where your family can gather if separated.
- Plan what to do with your pets if you have to evacuate your home.
- Choose a contact person—a friend or family member who lives out of state—that family members can contact if needed. Make sure you have at least two ways to contact that person (such as email, home phone, cell phone).
- Create and maintain a disaster supply kit, and make sure your family knows where it is and what it’s for.
- Check your disaster supply kit when a hurricane watch is issued and make sure you have all necessary supplies on hand.
- Discuss all of these issues with your family to make sure everyone understands what to do during a storm.