In 2004, four major hurricanes hit the state of Florida in a matter of weeks, bringing destruction and chaos across the entire state. My family and I lost items, and the house was heavily damaged. Others lost their homes completely through hurricane winds and rains, and the tornadoes that can spawn in the midst of the storm. The saddest part is the many residents who were told to prepare in advance, but did not take the warnings seriously, or did not know where to go for help, or even how to help themselves.
While hurricanes can be very deadly and cause massive amounts of destruction, the blessing is that we almost always have several days to prepare ahead of time. In this article we are going to discuss Hurricane Preparation for yourself and your loved ones and prevent some of the devastating effects of the storm.
First let’s understand what a hurricane is. A hurricane is a thundering, massive storm that begin over the warm ocean waters and can grow as large as 300 miles wide or more. Windspeed categories run from 74mph winds to anything over 157mph, similar to the windspeed of tornadoes, but lasting much longer in affected areas, and easily leading to floods and even landslides.
If your area has received a hurricane watch or warning, here’s what you can do to prepare in advance.
- Plan an evacuation route ahead of time before the roads become inundated with traffic, in the event that your area is ordered to evacuate. Take evacuation warnings seriously.
- If you are able to stay in your area, make sure to purchase the following items:
- A gallon of water per person, per day, for at least a 3 to 5 day period.
- Non-perishable food items such as canned goods, boxed snacks, fresh fruits, peanut butter, crackers, nuts, dry cereal, etc.
- Purchase a flashlight with extra batteries; purchase candles, and matches or lighters.
- A grill and coal can help you keep warm, boil warm water for washing, cooking, etc.
- Have any prescription drugs picked up and stored in airtight containers or Ziplock bags.
- Have medical cards and identification in airtight containers or Ziplock bags.
- Keep first aid supplies on hand such as bandages, wraps, peroxide, etc.
- Each household member should have a few days’ worth of clean clothing packed.
- Purchase a battery powered storm radio for emergency updates.
- Create a list of numbers to emergency shelters, and local emergency numbers.
- Create a list of phone numbers for close friends and family members.
- Bring along tools that could help in any emergency.
- If you need to evacuate, take these items with you.
- Stay away from coastal areas as these areas are at high risk of sever hurricane damage.
If possible, take steps to protect your home, such as boarding up windows and doors, bring outdoor furnisher inside to avoid projectiles, cut weak tree branches, install storm shutters if possible, research shelters in your area, and know the most common and least common local area escape routes. If you have renter’s or homeowners insurance, now is a good time to review your coverage and know who to call.
Be safe this Hurricane Season – God bless you and yours!
Father God, we thank You that our lives are in Your hands. We thank You that You are the God of the impossible and You have the power and authority to command and control winds. We thank You for blessing us with the same authority rooted in our faith, the same power that keeps us and our loved ones protected, the same power that surrounds us in our comings and goings, Lord. Father God, You are our rock and our fortress, our deliverer and our strength. We thank You that You are our strong tower where we may take refuge under the shadow of Your mighty wings. You are a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved and the mountains carried into the sea. You are our hiding place and You preserve us from trouble. We thank You for Your salvation and protection. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name we pray, Amen.
Psalms 18, 32, 46
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