[Story contributions from WeatherNation affiliate WFMY]
As Florence continues to gain strength, and the forecast looks increasingly likely of a U.S. East Coast landfall, the time is NOW to make sure your preparations are underway.
There are many threats that come along with a hurricane, and its not just wind. Tropical systems can bring threats to the coast and inland areas, so its important you understand *your* risk where you live.
Related: [Get yourself ready for hurricane season]
Make your plan
Build Your Kit
Regardless of exactly where Florence makes landfall, impacts will be felt far away from a single point or location. Florence is expected to be a major hurricane at landfall, so it is imperative you take the storm seriously and prepare! Here's what you need to be ready for Florence.
Know Your Risk
Knowing your risk means understanding what *you* need to prepare your home and family for an incoming storm. Do you live in a flood zone? Do you live near the coast and need to think about evacuating? Do you know what evacuation zone you live in? If you evacuate, where will you go...who will need to know your location? Is there a risk of damaging winds to your home and property? If so, make preps now to secure items and minimize potential impact. If power outages occur, do you have enough water, food, emergency supplies, and medication to last through the outage? And finally, have you planned for the unexpected? Storms can bring many unanticipated risks, so its best to over prepare, just in case.
Have an emergency plan
Write or review your Family Emergency Plan:
Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency.
Keep a copy of this plan in a sealed tight waterproof container in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster.
Here are four key questions to get you started on making an emergency plan:
1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
2. What is my shelter plan?
3. What is my evacuation route?
4. What is my family/household communication plan?
You'll want to make sure you have important emergency documents and other items like the following also kept in a waterproof container:
Emergency Documents List
- Photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport)
- Cash and credit cards Personal records (e.g., birth certificates, marriage certificates)
- Medical records Financial information (e.g., bank account or credit card information)
- Property records (e.g., insurance policies, deed, or lease)
Before a hurricane
(Ready.gov and WFMY)
Visit this link for an hour by hour plan to prepare
- Build an emergency kit.
- Make a family communications plan.
- Know you’re the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes). Locate your local emergency shelters.
- Closely watch/listen to the weather reports. Listening every hour as the storm nears.
- Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.
- If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.
- Keep a photo I.D. that shows your home address. You will need it when asking police if it is okay for you to re-enter your area or home.
- Secure your property.
- Bring inside all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Cover windows with permanent storm shutters or board up windows with 5/8” plywood, cut and ready to install. Tape does not stop windows from breaking.
- Put in straps or extra clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will lower roof damage.
- Trim trees and shrubs around your home, so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce garage doors. If wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
Be safe after a hurricane
(Ready.gov and WFMY)
- Stay tuned to local radio, television or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest news.
- Listen to authorities for information and special instructions (including when to return home if you've evacuated).
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
- Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
- Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
- Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.
- Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering. Stay out of any building if you smell gas, if floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire.
- NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or other enclosed areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for airing. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can stay around for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
You can learn much more about preparedness at READY.GOV
Continue to stay with WeatherNation throughout the storm for live team coverage from in the field and in studio. You can watch on DISH TV channel 215, on our mobile app, or follow us on social media Twitter and Facebook for periodic updates.