The tropics are heating up. Although we have been spared here in Hampton Roads so far this hurricane season, it’s never too early to prepare for what could happen in the future. That’s why now is the time to dust off your hurricane checklist to keep you and your family safe.
One of the first things you should do is either update or create a hurricane kit. The American Red Cross says that your kit should have one gallon of water per person, per day along with non-perishable food items, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents (like passports, insurance policies, and birth certificates), cell phones with chargers, and extra cash. Also, don’t forget about medications and other items that may be important to a specific family member’s needs, such as senior citizens, infants, and those with a disability.
Next, make a plan. If you are told to evacuate, experts say it’s best to do so. However, know where you are going before you hit the road. Make sure you have a map of the area. Talk to your family about where you would go and what route you would take to get there. Keep in mind that tropical storms and hurricanes can affect inland areas, too. Have a plan for your pets as well. Make sure area shelters and hotels/motels are pet-friendly.
The American Red Cross says it’s also important to be informed. Be aware of different weather alerts for your area and what they mean. Also, make sure you stay updated about changes in the weather through the media, like NewsChannel 3, your cell phone or your NOAA Weather Radio.
This is by no means a complete list of what you should do during a tropical storm or hurricane. But now is the time to prepare.