Happy Monday! As we approach the middle of hurricane season, it's important that we remain vigilant and prepare ourselves for potential storms. Hurricane season officially lasts from June to November, but the peak of activity typically occurs between mid-August and late October. You may be thinking that hurricanes only affect people living in coastal areas. But the reality is that hurricanes can impact areas well inland and cause damage to communities not normally thought of as "hurricane prone." Take Hurricane Florence in 2018, for example. While the eye of the storm made landfall on the coast of North Carolina, its heavy rains caused devastating flooding in areas such as Fayetteville and Lumberton, hundreds of miles from the coast.
So, how can we prepare ourselves for potential hurricanes? First, stay informed. Monitor local weather reports and keep up with updates from the National Hurricane Center. If you're unsure about how to prepare for a hurricane, websites like Broward County’s official hurricane site that offers valuable information on evacuation plans, what to include in a disaster supply kit, and how to protect your property. Next, consider making a disaster kit for yourself and your family. Include essentials such as non-perishable food, bottled water, medications, first aid supplies, and flashlights. Don't forget about pets, either!
Have food, water, and any necessary medications prepared for them as well. In addition, have a plan for evacuation in case the need arises. Identify safe evacuation routes, and keep in mind that major highways may be congested during an evacuation. Decide on a meeting place for family members in case you are separated. Lastly, ensure that your property is ready for potential storms. Trim back trees and shrubs, clear out gutters, and reinforce doors and windows. If you live in a flood-prone area, consider purchasing flood insurance. While it can be scary to think about the potential damage that hurricanes can cause, being prepared and vigilant can help mitigate their effects. Let's take steps to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities this hurricane season. Stay safe, everyone!