Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30. Often, during years of little to no activity, residents tend to have a false sense of security, which results in a lack of preparedness.
As a result, when the time comes to prepare, everyone fights for supplies and stresses over preparations that need to be made. On top of it all, such last-minute preparations strain finances.
Many people have not made their plan, put together their kits, or prepared for the hurricane. If you are one of those people, seize this opportunity. Don’t wait until the day before landfall to get everything ready.
Here are basic tips to help you get started.
● Familiarize yourself with hurricane terms and specific safety measures to implement. Include all family members, even children, in this practice to have a well-informed group.
● Compile checklists for your situation; implement the plan, and practice the plan with the family.
● Compile emergency kits for food, important papers and first aid supplies.
● Have items ready to secure your home.
● Plan to protect pets.
● Prepare your boat if you own one. Boat US has a variety of resources to help you prepare your boat or marina in case of a storm.
You can download disaster guides and in-depth preparation tips at http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/disaster_prep/.
And remember: Having an emergency preparedness plan should not be looked at as a chore; it's an opportunity for families to work together. Doing all these things in advance can ease your family's should an emergency arise.
No one wants to think of that “what-if” situation, but wouldn’t you rather be prepared than be stressed and sorry?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 689-5850 for more information on marine science and natural resources information.
Brooke Saari is an agent at the University of Florida's Extension office in Crestview.