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Storm Season is here!

Some hurricane supplies available tax-free now as sales tax ...

Growing up near and now living on the coast means I'm always aware of Hurricane and Storm seasons. Although they can still happen in the winter, Hurricane Season generally runs from June 01- November 30th.
How does one get prepared? Well, thank goodness to improved technology because we now have time to prepare, make plans, and evacuate with plenty of warning. For any of us, storms can hit at any time, so we shouldn't wait until the last minute to be prepared- whether it's a hurricane, storm, or some other natural disaster. 
If you are planning to ride a storm out, you need a Supplies Kit. The Kit should be something that is easily accessible, easily transportable, and water resistant.
A basic emergency supply kit should include the following recommended items:
  • Water (one gallon 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/ hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps (if cell towers go down, GPS is not useable. Having a local map will help you figure out which routes are accessible)
  • Cell phone with chargers, backup battery or powerpack
  • Prescription and Non-Prescription Medicines 
  • Important Documents and Identity Information (print a copy of your Insurance policies and keep this with your other documents)
  • Cash and Checks- if the power goes down, credit cards will not be useable
  • Precheck your generator and ensure you have enough gas
As the the storm approaches, make a plan with your family. First, heed the advice of the local authorities and meteorologists. Second, determine what your family is willing to suffer through: power loss means no AC, no electronics, no fridge, and no flushable toilets. If flooding is occurring in your area, rising water can cause damage the cities utility structure. Third, communicate this plan to your friends and family who do not live local to you. Fourth, figure out a back-up plan in case mandatory evacuations are issued. Will you go to the local shelter? Will you have gas prepped in your vehicle in case you need to drive across the state to stay with Aunt Sally? Will you schedule an impromptu vacation and end up at Disney World like I did during Hurricane Florence? (Note to readers- I was already stuck on the outside due to a work conference and it was a full week before I could return home due to road passability, power loss, etc).

If and when you do decide to evacuate, try to prepare your home as much as possible. If you have the ability, board up your windows.  Bring all toys, patio items, etc inside. Let your neighbors know your plans and find out their family's as well.  If you know that you are in or near a flood zone, try to raise as much of your home off the floor as possible. Take important valuables with you- not only can there be water damage due to floods and roof leaks from downed trees, looters also take advantage of empty homes. Also, don't forget to unplug all your electronics and try to protect them as much as possible (such as laying your tv flat in case a window breaks). 

After Hurricane Florence made landfall on the City of Wilmington and other coastal communities, we became an island. No supplies could get in, no people could get out, and no electricity for almost a week. While this isn't the case for most communities, it still helps to know your local escape routes, listen to your city officials, and watch weather reports. Storms constantly change upon approach- with distance, speed, and even with all of our wonderful tech, we never know where the eye will hit until it arrives. 

If you want to read more, you can check out my official's Hurricane Prep Information found at the City of Wilmington's website. We are already prepping for another hurricane season because, in the midst of Covid-19, it can be even more dramatic than two years ago! 

Storms can be scary and the prep is intense, but the more you do now, the less likely anxiety you experience later! Stay safe my friends!

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