SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Each day, Storm Team 3 will be going over different planning recommendations on WSAV’s Hurricane Central.
There are many hurricane preparedness items you should check off before the start of hurricane season on June 1. One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is creating a hurricane evacuation plan, one of the most important steps to do BEFORE hurricane season begins.
By planning ahead, you won’t be caught off guard when a tropical system is knocking on our door and you have to gather your family to evacuate.
DEVELOP A PLAN
The first thing to do is check with your state or county emergency management agency to see if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone or if you live in a home that could become unsafe during impacts from a tropical system. If so, make sure you plan multiple evacuation routes.
Impacts are different for each system and extend far away from the center of the storm. Follow evacuation orders if and as they are given.
Remember, you do NOT need to travel hundreds of miles away from home to be safe from impacts. The best plan is to travel far enough away that you are away from the impacts.
Start putting together a supply bag/kit ahead of time. As you go to the grocery store, you can gradually add needed supplies to the bag and make sure it is ready to go before a storm is imminent.
Pets are family! Make sure as you are putting your plan together that you are including them in it.
P – A -C
An easy way to keep up with evacuating family members
P: Pick a place to meet up away from evacuation zones and impacts. Impacts extend far away from the center, on all sides of the storm, and can include flooding rain, damaging winds, and tornadoes. Check in with Storm Team 3 on the track of the storm and choose an evacuation path to take you away from impacts. Be sure to find a safe place away from all impacts.
A: Add emergency phone numbers and evacuation plan to a notebook and phone for each family member and each out-of-town contact. Phone batteries can drain quickly and possibly die before you are able to check on important information. Have a way to charge your phone in your car just in case — this should be added to your emergency kit.
C: Choose an out-of-town contact to stay in touch with. Make sure they know where you are going, what is your plan, etc. This one goes hand-in-hand with A — you should also give a copy of phone numbers and evacuation plans to the contact. Most cell phones allow you to create a text message group. You can use it to keep family members in the loop with your evacuation plan and you can even share your location.
Planning in advance will help ensure all family members reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency.