Where I live, we deal with tornadoes and freezing temperatures. Here, I have included a list of things to do to ensure that no matter the type of weather related disaster, you will be prepared.
Back during my Navy days, I lived on the East Coast. Flooding was a real concern every time there would be a hurricane. We were lucky, though, in that while we lived there, no major flooding affected us. The most flooding that we had was only enough to become a nuisance while driving, not enough to destroy homes and displace families. I wish I knew then what I know now:
- Make an evacuation plan. Ask friends or relatives who live outside of the flood plain if you could rely on them for shelter if you need to leave your home. If you don't have anyone close enough, do your research on the hotels that will be far enough to be safe. The last thing you want to walk into when you've just evacuated your home is a $300 a night roach infested stink-hole.
- If you have a basement, make sure it's reinforced. Install a sump pump if flooding is frequent.
- Discuss with your children that they should never walk through moving water. Children fall easily enough when conditions are good, but it's exponentially more dangerous in a flooding situation. Better yet, teach your children to swim.
June 1st was the start of hurricane season. Hurricanes have been in the news a lot in the past few years. Hurricane Katrina is still pretty fresh in everyone's minds, but there have been other devastating ones along the coast. I think that by now, everyone is not only aware of the benefits being prepared in the event of a hurricane, but the long lasting effects that one can have on a home, community, and our country as a whole.
- During hurricane season, stay aware and be sure to check your local weather listings.
- Find out where the emergency shelters in your area are. Ensure that every member of your family is aware also.
- When a hurricane is headed to your area, install covers over your windows. You can also purchase straps that will help to hold down your roof and lessen any damage. Bring in outdoor furniture, decorations, and anything not securely grounded.
- As with flooding, have an evacuation plan. Consider very seriously before deciding to stay in your home.
This past winter, ice storms surprised residents in many of the southern states - usually warmer parts of the country. It really underscored just how unprepared people in that part of the country are for extreme weather. Hopefully, the next storm will not catch everyone so off-guard.
- Don't drive unless you have absolutely no choice. Even if you are comfortable driving on slippery roads or snow, like many Northerners are, the greater danger is other drivers.
- Have a backup to your usual heat source. If the electricity goes out for a day or more, temperatures in your home could drop to dangerous levels. Whether you have a generator, fireplace, or even an emergency stove, a heat source is paramount.
- Get an ice scrapper and include it in your emergency car kit. Even if you don't think you will ever need it, you never know when an emergency will occur and you will have to drive during adverse conditions.
If you missed Part I of this discussion, be sure to go back and check out the good information!