Hurricane Season Is Here!

Hunker down for another hurricane season! Warmer than average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, coupled with the absence of El Niño—which creates wind patterns that suppress hurricane formations—has contributed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s prediction of an “active or extremely active” 2013 hurricane season from June 1 through November 30.

It is important to know your community’s hurricane response plan ahead of time. Review routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs, and make plans for your pets. Most importantly, monitor the news and be sure to obey evacuation orders!

While Shell Point Retirement Community residents benefit from the advantage of a private on-site hurricane shelter, Justin Schiff, Shell Point’s hurricane preparedness coordinator, reminds all seniors that it is critical to be prepared. “It’s important to plan ahead so you are not scrambling last minute to gather your documents and supplies,” he said.

The American Red Cross recommends that seniors who live independently should have a plan in place that includes a network of at least three people who will be notified of a senior’s storm evacuation or shelter plans and agree to check in with them after the storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends assembling a basic emergency supply kit for hurricane season that includes the following items:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Personal hygiene items

You can find a printable emergency supply checklist from FEMA here: Recommended Supplies List. For more information about preparing for hurricane season, visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

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