By Daniel Kilburn
Rain is falling as you finish securing the patio furniture. In the distance, you can see the chop of the water picking up. It is much more agitated now than it was an hour ago. On the horizon to the south, a wall of water is falling fiercely from the blackened clouds. The wind is marching right at you, drops of water pelting you in the face. Two, maybe three hours till landfall?
The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1. It is a seasonal anxiety monster for the millions of people living on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. It can be a life-threatening event if you let it. 2020 was the most active hurricane season on record, and 2021 is projected to have above-normal activity.
Building your family hurricane response plan is simple. You can put together a basic disaster plan in a week. One critical decision will drive all of your planning needs. During the onset of a natural disaster, one of three things will happen:
- You will need to evacuate your home immediately.
- Your home is sturdy and safe to weather out the storm.
- Your sturdy and safe home is no longer secure and safe, and you need to evacuate.
For most people, the hurricane will cause power outages, possible water outages and roads may be closed. You and your family will be separated from the world around you. How can you make the best of it? Have a plan!
Start your information gathering at your City Office of Emergency Management (OEM). If there is no OEM for the city, call the local fire department. Let the operator know you are preparing for the coming hurricane season and you need information. Your first responders are always happy to assist you.
The basics for minimal comfort will be drinking water, non-perishable food, sanitation supplies, and a battery-powered radio.
If you must evacuate, plan on staying with friends or family outside of the affected area. Airbnb and booking.com are alternate out-of-town shelter options. Your city OEM will have locations for local shelters if needed.
Remember, you will support your spouse/partner, friends, family and any children you have with strength and leadership once you develop your resourcefulness. Prepared families are an asset for the entire community.
You can reach Daniel Kilburn at firstname.lastname@example.org