Hurricane Preparation

by Mary Catherine Cochran

Were you prepared for the earthquake and are you prepared for Hurricane Irene?

Perhaps this week has been Mother Nature’s way of reminding us to prepare for emergencies.  Latest projections from the National Weather Service indicate a more easterly path for Hurricane Irene bringing her close enough to Maryland to cause an impact.

Two great resources for preparedness are FEMA and the CDC.  Both sites suggest the following three steps:

  1. Put together an emergency supply kitwhich includes:
    • Water (1 gal of water per person per day for at least three days)
    • Food – a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather radio and batteries for both
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • First Aid Kit
    • Whistle
    • Dust masks, plastic sheeting and duct tape
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags with ties
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Can opener for food
    • Local maps
    • Cell phones with chargers
    • Any prescription medication and glasses
    • Infant formula and diapers
    • Pet food and extra water for your pet
    • Cash and change
    • Important family documents in a water tight container
    • Blankets for each person
    • Change of clothing including sturdy shoes
    • Bleach and a medicine dropper
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Matches in a waterproof container
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Cups, plates, paper towels and utensils
  2. Create an Emergency Plan which includes information specific to your family, an evacuation plan, should you need to leave the area, a communications plan to so you can stay in touch with loved ones near and far and directions for protecting your property including information on how to safely shut off your utilities.
  3. Be informed.  Check in with FEMA and NOAA for up to the minute information.

For more information, read the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) tongue in cheek Zombie Survival Guide which provides a good reference on how to prepare for any emergency- including a zombie emergency or check in withCERN for more ideas on being prepared.

Finally, if you don’t have a NOAA radio – and everyone should have one, you should know our local Emergency Broadcast channels:  Baltimore WBAL (AM-1090) and WIYY (FM-97.9) and Washington WTOP (FM-103.5) and WMAL (AM-630)

Be prepared, be informed, don’t be like Bob Dylan and rely on your answers to be Blowing in the Wind!

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