A flooded street after catastrophic Hurricane Irma hit Fort Lauderdale, FL - September, 2017
Hurricane season is upon us. Some will never see even one in their lifetime but for others, depending on where you are located, they are an annual occurrence. Search and Rescue Ground Team Leader and author of Survival Ready: Life Saving Skills and Expert Advice for Surviving Any Threat at Any Time, Check Freedman has prepared some basic guidelines for being prepared this hurricane season.
Prepare Your Home:
- Move your valuable or irreplaceable items as high up in your home as you can.
- If you are evacuating, turn off the water, gas, and electricity before you leave.
- Ensure that your sump pump is working.
- Bring anything that can be blown away by hurricane force winds inside your home
- Board your windows and tie down your roof
- Clear your gutters of debris
- Cut down the dead limbs on your trees and trim your bushes back
Fort Pierce, Florida/USA-August 31, 2019: Harbortown Marina boarded up preparing for the impact of Hurricane Dorian at Category 4
One of the best things we can do for ourselves and our neighbors is to behave as cooperative evacuees. If local law enforcement issues a mandatory evacuation order, COMPLY.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, one of your best practices can be to have a 72-hour bag packed and ready to go at all times during hurricane season. That way, you can decrease the number of decisions you will need to make as you gather kids, pets, and necessities together at the moment of departure.
- Take all the supplies with you that you will need for your own survival and comfort, especially all of your medications and medical devices
- Take your pets with you
- If it is practical and if you have the time, take your most precious possessions with you
Pack and head away from the affected area as soon as humanly possible to avoid getting stuck in departing traffic. Maintain an orderly departure. Do not cause chaos or panic, remain calm.
- As you travel away from the area, stay clear of high water, flooded roads, and downed power lines. Pay attention to detours, emergency routes, and changes of travel direction.
- Head inland.
- Let your loved ones know that you are safely out of harm’s way.
Check Freedman is the COO of Captive Audience Prevention Training and Recovery Team, the NHQ, Senior Program Manager for Critical Incident Stress Management and Resiliency for the United States Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) as well as an armed combat instructor. She is a technical scuba diver, a multi-engine instrument pilot, crisis hostage negotiator, private investigator, Certified Missing & Exploited Child Investigator, Critical Incident Stress Debriefer, Emergency Medical Response Instructor, Search and Rescue Ground Team Leader and travel security specialist.