With Hurricane Irma about to hit, it's important to know hurricane safety rules so you know what to do. Here's what you need to know to stay safe.
Sign Up for Emergency Alerts
Before, during, and after a hurricane you should always stay informed. You should have your phone setup to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) from FEMA through the Integrated Public Alert Warning Systems (IPAWS).
Next, you should do a search for your jurisdiction’s opt-in public alert system. This was you can receive information pertaining to your local area. You can also sign up to receive alerts from the National Weather Service with a NOAA weather radio.
Know the Difference Between an Advisory, Watch, and Warning
- Advisory: The National Weather Service (NWS) issues this when they expect a storm to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous, but not life-threatening.
- Watch: NWS issues this when there is a possible hurricane within the next 48 hours. If you see a watch issued, turn on your NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news source to stay informed. Double check your emergency supplies and go-bag in case you need to hunker down or evacuate.
- Warning: The NWS issues this when it expects a hurricane within the next 36 hours. Do everything listed in the “Watch” section, then prepare to evacuate if told to do so.
Be Prepared to Evacuate
If worse comes to worse and the authorities tell you and your family to evacuate, you should be ready to do so.
· Have an evacuation plan: Either learn your community’s evacuation plan or develop one of your own using suggested routes via your state’s Department of Transportation or Office of Emergency Management websites.
· Have a place to go: Inform family or friends who you might be staying with, or locate a nearby emergency shelter location using the FEMA mobile app. Designate a meet up place for everyone in case you get separated.
· Prepare your vehicle: Fill up your gas tank, load up your car with basic emergency supplies, and make sure it’s ready to roll out.
· Grab your go-bag: Have your go-bag, or “bug-out bag,” filled with useful emergency supplies and keep it nearby. Make sure everyone in your family has one. If you don’t have one put together, do your best to throw one together now.
Protect Your Household
If you received alerts ahead of time and can prepare your house for the impact of a storm then do so. Make sure that all windows, skylights, and sliding glass doors are covered. You can use Plywood as covering (it’s the cheapest material to use) and runs for less than $20 per 4’ X 8’ sheet. Remember, do not tape your window to protect them. It is actually more dangerous if the shards break if you do.
Hunker Down and Weather the Storm
If you do not evacuate and decide to ride out the storm, be sure to stay on higher ground to avoid flooding. You should put together your emergency supplies, food for yourself, and also fill your bath with water so that you have extra in case you need it.
Be patient during this time and do not be fooled if the storm stops for a while. The hurricane can start right back up any second.
Cosmo Insurance Agency wants you to stay safe during critical situations like these. Use this knowledge to keep you safe during any future hurricanes and remember to stay calm. Cosmo Insurance is a reliable agency that is only a call away if you need coverage whether it be for individual or group.