Prepare for Hurricane Season
June 1st marked the beginning of another hurricane season. Although the season lasts until November 30th, peak activity usually occurs during the second half of August through the end of September.
It is best to plan ahead to help you and your family stay safe as well as to protect your house and property. Review your insurance policies in order to ensure that your assets are adequately covered because once a hurricane watch has been issued, insurance providers will not issue additional coverage or new policies. Take inventory of your possessions and photograph or videotape any items of value well in advance. Keep your important documents in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box, and if you must evacuate, consider taking the documents with you.
If you plan to ride out the storm at home, identify the safest room, typically an interior room with no windows, and stay inside that room if a hurricane is expected to pass directly over your location.
You should maintain a "hurricane kit" in preparation for a storm. Some items for your kit should include:
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Matches and/or lighter
- Manual can opener
- Extra prescription medicine
- Battery-operated radio
- Car charger for your cell phone
- Fire extinguisher
- Basic hand tool kit
- One-week supply of non-perishable food
- For pets, buy a supply of food, cat litter, etc.
- Disposable plates, eating utensils, paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, trash bags
- One-week supply of water for drinking purposes at an amount for two quarts per person per day
- Plain bleach, with no additives, to purify water with 8 drops per gallon of water
- Mosquito repellent
- Portable cooler to keep ice
- A grill or Sterno stove (No gas grills indoors!)
- Copies of important documents
Trim trees on your property in the weeks or months prior to the beginning of hurricane season. Trees should not only be trimmed but also thinned to allow strong winds to pass through them in order to prevent them from falling down during a hurricane.
If you have pets of any kind, remember that pets can be traumatized if left behind alone during a hurricane. If a category 3 hurricane or higher is approaching, consider evacuating and taking your pets with you but remember that many shelters do not allow pets so you may need to make other plans to ensure your pet's safety and well-being during a hurricane.
Prior to its arrival, prepare for a hurricane by doing the following:
- Get any cash you may need because ATM's may not work after a storm.
- Fill up your vehicle's gas tank.
- Charge your cell phone battery as well as camera battery.
- Secure your home with hurricane shutters and bring loose yard or outdoor objects inside.
- First sanitize and then fill bathtubs, sinks and other containers with water for sanitary usage.
- To keep food fresh, put refrigerator & freezer on their highest settings in case of a power outage.
- Locate and place important documents in a waterproof container.
After a storm or hurricane, it's important to note the following:
- Stay away from fallen wires and flooded areas.
- Never run a generator inside your home.
- If you need assistance in locating a shelter, contact the Red Cross.
You can visit the Palm Beach County Emergency Management website for local information and on evacuations.
If you suspect price gouging during this declared state of emergency, you should report it to the Attorney General's Office by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM