Here’s what to do if you’re in the path of a hurricane

Weather forecasters expect as many as 25 named stories in 2024, posing a threat to residents along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts - UnSplash +

These tips can keep you and your family safe

Hurricane season officially began June 1 and weather forecasters expect this season to be especially active with as many as 25 named storms. A number of states, from Texas to Maine, could feel the impact.

People along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts have been urged to take precautions ahead of time. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says people in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm are not only at risk of property damage but also scammers when it’s all over.

“Experts are predicting a record-breaking and ‘super-charged’ hurricane season,” Moody said at a press conference kicking off hurricane season. “Whether you’re a lifelong Floridian or new to the Sunshine State, it is essential to get prepared early for potential hurricane strikes.”

If you haven’t already, take dozens of photographs of every room in your home, plus the exterior, along with furnishings. In recent years insurance companies have been more difficult when it comes to settling claims, so having photographic proof might help.

A particularly strong storm would likely interrupt electricity and water supplies. Gas stations might not be able to dispense fuel until power is restored.

Your emergency supplies

Here are some items experts suggest having on hand:

  • Water—one gallon daily per person—and non-perishable food for seven days

  • Non-electric can openers, paper plates and plastic utensils

  • Flashlights and extra batteries

  • First aid kits, sunscreen and bug spray

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank weather radios

Having information handy is also helpful. Print out the information since electricity and internet access may not be available in the immediate wake of a damaging storm. Here are some things disaster experts suggest collecting:

  • Printed evacuation routes and shelter locations

  • Stock up on enough food, water and emergency supplies for the entire household for at least seven days well before a storm is expected to strike

  • Check that storm-related products are hurricane-proof or impact-proof before purchasing

Leave grills and generators outside

Should you lose power, be very careful using portable generators, portable heaters, charcoal grills, and camping stoves. These items generate carbon monoxide (CO), a gas that kills more than 200 people each year.

Once the storm is over, be on the lookout for price gouging and report it to you state attorney general’s office. Also, be very aware that scammers will try to exploit the disaster.

Beware of solicitors using high-pressure tactics, such as demanding urgent donations or sharing limited information when soliciting donations. 

Finally, follow evacuation orders. If authorities tell you to leave your home and go to an area outside the storm’s path, you’ll ensure the safety of you and your family by doing so.

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