It is important to have a family disaster plan. Think about these questions: Where will your family be when the threat of disaster strikes? Members of your family could be at work, school or traveling. How will your family members link up with each other? Disasters, especially hurricanes, may force you to evacuate, or you may be confined to your home. What will you do if basic services – water, gas, electricity or telephones are disrupted? Act now to develop your family disaster plan and assemble your disaster supply kit.
Gather information and create a disaster plan. Meet with your family to discuss the danger of hurricanes and why you need to prepare. If you are forced to evacuate in a hurry, family members may be at different locations. So, agree on a place to meet in case you can’t return to your neighborhood. Choose an out-of-town friend or relative to be the check–in contact for family members to call should anyone become separated. Discuss the steps you will take if you are advised to evacuate and identify the quickest, safest routes out of your area. Official hurricane evacuation route signs are easy to spot along the highways. However, do not evacuate unless told to do so.
Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local EMS number. Consider buying a NOAA Weather Alert Radio. Inspect your home for potential hazards (such as outdoor items like toys and furniture) that could become airborne during a hurricane and secure them. Learn basic safety measures such as CPR and first aid. Make sure adults know how and when to turn off electricity, water and gas lines for your home. When gas is turned off, it should only be turned back on by a professional. Keep enough supplies in your home for as least five days of being self-sufficient, including one gallon of drinking water per person per day.