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Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Apr. 20, 2017 1 month ago

Hurricane season starts June 1 — here's how to prepare

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At least two major hurricanes are predicting for the 2017 season.
by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Hurricane Season 2017 is starting soon, and officials want to make sure you're prepared. 

Dr. Philip Klotzbach and Michael Bell of Colorado State University recently predicted 11 named storms, four hurricanes and two major hurricanes in their forecast. The season begins on June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States averages between one and two hurricane landfalls each season. Even though average landfalls have been below average the last several years, residents are still strongly encouraged to complete their annual hurricane preparations. Here are some things to keep in mind as develop your plan:

  • Discuss disaster plans as a family. Develop a list of things that need to be taken care of in preparing for a disaster. Assemble an "activity kit" for children so they will have things to do. 
  • Make evacuation plans. Decide where you will go if an evacuation order is given and leave well in advance of the approaching storm as evacuation routes could be heavily congested.
  • Take inventory of your valuables. Prepare a list, take videos or photos. 
  • Review your insurance policies. Do this well in advance of an approaching storm. Once a hurricane watch has been issued, most insurers will not issue new or additional coverage, including flood insurance. Flood damage is not covered under a homeowner’s policy. A separate policy must be purchased. For information regarding flood insurance, please visit floodsmart.gov which can help you rate your risk, estimate premiums, and find an agent. Keep these documents in a safe place.
  • Check your home for vulnerable areas. The roof, windows, garage doors, patio doors, etc., should be checked to determine what protective measures you should make to secure your home in the event of an approaching storm.
  • Protect vehicles. Decide where you will store or park your vehicles, boat, or RV.  Remember to check your insurance policies for your vehicles and keep them in a safe place.
  • Reduce damage to your property. You may wish to install window shutters, purchase a generator, trim trees, and double-check tie-down straps and anchors if you live in a mobile home or a manufactured home.
  • Make arrangement for family members with special needs. Persons with special needs should register with the Volusia County Health Department at doh.state.fl.us/chd/volusia/SPNS.html. If someone in your household has a disability or special need, take additional steps to protect them. Create an emergency kit that includes an extra supply of prescription medicines, a list of medications and their dosages; an extra set of eyeglasses and extra hearing-aid batteries; an extra walking device, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen if necessary; extra copies of medical insurance documents and Medicare/Medicaid cards; and a list of doctors, relatives, and friends who should be notified.
  • Plan for your pets. Make plans for your pets whether you stay or evacuate. In addition to food, water, and bowls, your pet’s disaster kit should include leashes, toys, bedding, carrier, medications, newspaper, cat litter, plastic bags for waste, license and vaccination documentation. Remember to make plans for large outdoor pets such as horses.
  • Assemble a disaster supply kit. Make sure to have a week’s supply of nonperishable food, water and medical items for your family. For help making your family disaster plan, visit floridadisaster.org. 
  • Share your plans. Let family, friends, and coworkers know your plans, and how they can reach you. Establish an out-of-town point of contact with a family member or friend.  ​
  • Sign up for emergency notifications. Receive emergency telephone or e-mail notifications from Volusia County’s Emergency Management Division at volusia.org/services/public-protection/emergency-management/get-connected/. Sign up to receive CodeRED emergency notifications from the City of Ormond Beach at public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/F061CACDBEC6. You are encouraged to select “text” alerts to receive messages. Phone services are sometimes lost during severe weather, and receiving texts is an additional option for getting important emergency information.

Please don’t wait until a storm is approaching. mMke your disaster plan now. 

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