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May 29th, 2009:

Hurricane Season is Here! Are You Prepared?

Hurricane season is here! Wow, its back. And are you prepared? Just what does “prepared” mean when we talk about hurricanes and other severe weather during the summer and early fall? Can we truly prepare for a disaster? Well, yes we can and it is that preparation that often makes a difference in how we survive the storm and then cope the following days.

Having lived through Hurricanes Charley, Francis, Ivan then Jeanne, two Category 4’s and two Category 3’s, I have experience with bad storms. Taffy, Hawker and I managed to survive 100 mph winds and amazing rain pounding our home during charley-200x200-vis-tCharley, followed in 3 weeks by Francis, then 3 weeks later when Ivan made his double passes over our home, then Jeanne finished the parade! 2004 was a year of learning for me. Cats don’t like storms any more than I.

Over the next few posts we will explore some basic steps to take to be proactive in storm preparedness. Of course, not everyone has contact with hurricanes. However, each area has violent weather to consider: tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes( I know this is not weather!), forest/wild fires, floods, lake effect snows and ice storms. None of these are fun or easy to endure.

It is stressful when a Hurricane approaches. The local news has constant updates and predictions on the path of the storm, strength and such. This goes on for DAYS before the storm hits land. But during this time your stress level goes way up! To reduce the stress, make your plan and get ready for the storm. Taking action gives you options when the storm hits. You are more likely to make good decisions during the event if you have planned ahead of time.

So the first step is taking a good look at yourself and your family. What are your everyday needs? Do you have pets or large animals? Do you need medical equipment daily/weekly such as dialysis? Do you have medications that are taken daily/weekly? Is your home in a flood plain? Is there lawn furniture, hanging flower baskets, fountains or children’s play things outside the home? Do you have a well? Do you have a generator? Are your important papers in one secure place? Where will you go should you have to evacuate at the last minute? Is your car ready for a trip in crowded road conditions and heavy rain? What about extended family or older neighbors without close family?

There is much More to come!  Start your preparations now! Safety is paramount.

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