Prepare for a Hurricane

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Hurricane season starts on May 15 in the north Pacific and June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean, and ends on November 30. People living away from the coast may feel safe, but hurricanes don’t only affect people along the coast.


Learning how to prepare for a hurricane is important. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has clarified some instructions you should follow during the hurricane season.



What is a hurricane?


A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes.


Although hurricane Season usually begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, the hurricanes can, and have, occurred outside of this time frame. NOAA's National Hurricane Center predicts and tracks these massive storm systems, which occur, on average, 12 times a year in the Atlantic basin.



How to prepare?


Know the difference between a hurricane “watch” and “warning”


Listen for National Weather Service alerts on TV or radio or check for them online. There are two kinds of alerts:


· A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour [mph] or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.


· A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.



Make a plan


As stated before, there is a time range in the hurricane season, so make sure you make proper preparation before the hurricane comes.


- Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them on the refrigerator or near every phone in your house. Program them into your cell phone too.


- An emergency supply kit can provide lots of help, so try to put one in a conspicuous place.


- Locate the nearest shelter and different routes you can take to get there from your home.



Gather emergency supplies


During and after a hurricane, you may need supplies to keep your family safe and healthy. Remember that a hurricane could cut off your power and water supply, and that’s why it is important to stock up everything you might need now. Be sure to prepare the following:


· An emergency food and water supply.


· An emergency medicine supply.


· Emergency power sources such as flashlights (don’t forget extra batteries).


· Important documents, including medical documents, wills, passports, and personal identification.


· A fire extinguisher. Make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it!



Be ready to evacuate or stay at home


Always listen to authorities regarding whether you should evacuate or stay at home. You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home should be safer than leaving.


If you need to evacuate, grab your emergency supply kit, and only take what you really need with you (cell phone, chargers, medicines, identification like a passport or license, and cash).


After that, try to follow the roads that emergency workers recommend even if there’s traffic. Other routes might be blocked or flooded. Never drive through flooded areas — cars and other vehicles can be swept away or may stall in just 6 inches of moving water.


If you need to stay home, keep your emergency supply kit in a place you can easily access. Open the radio or TV for updates on the hurricane.


It is better to stay inside even if it looks calm. Wait until you hear or see an official message that the hurricane is over. Always be ready to leave. If emergency authorities order you to leave or if your home is damaged, you may need to go to a shelter or a neighbor’s house.



A hurricane can cause damage hundreds of miles from the shore, so remember to be prepared.

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