With Arthur pushing north along the coast, it will be fireworks instead of waterworks for Central Florida 4th of July celebrations. If you were prepared for Arthur to be more than a story on the local news, then you’re probably an exception. Most of us wait until the storm threat is imminent before we run to the grocery and hardware stores, only to encounter long lines and empty shelves. Instead, why not think of Arthur as an opportunity to put together a hurricane plan?
Here are three easy steps for formulating a hurricane plan.
Step One: Visit these web links provided by Heart of Florida United Way Community Services Vice President Larry Olness. Floridadisaster.org has step by step guidelines on how to create an emergency plan. It even includes an emergency supply list. The Red Cross has a handy, printable online form for documenting your plan and Ready.gov
points out the need for a communication plan.
Step Two: Assemble your emergency supplies. Make sure you’ve accounted for pet and medical needs. Consider smart phone charging capabilities in the event of an extended power outage.
Step Three: Discuss the plan. Where are the supplies stored? How will your family members stay in touch with each other during an emergency? Talk about texting, especially with seniors. Give them a crash course if needed. The Federal Communications Commission says texting during emergencies may be a better option because cell networks get overloaded. Make sure everyone knows how to access emergency contacts.
And while your’re assembling your hurricane plan, don’t forget to include a check on elderly or disabled neighbors. Let’s make sure lessons learned during the hurricane season of 2004 aren’t forgotten. Plan for yourself ahead of time, pull for the community afterwards.