The I of the storm

U.S. Coast Guard Illustration by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega

Illustration created at 8th Coast Guard District External Affairs, June 4, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard illustration by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega)

Benjamin Franklin once said “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

This week marks the start of hurricane season.

As most citizens who live by the coastline are aware, this time of year can prove to be a period of discomfort with the stability of their lives at risk.

A few proactive steps can make all the difference to help mitigate the impact that a hurricane could have on the safety of your family.

The National Weather Service states, “History teaches, that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.”

Where should I start? You may think to yourself. The first start in hurricane preparation should be gathering the right items to craft a disaster readiness kit. Have at the least a three-day supply of food and a seven-day supply of water, containing one gallon of water per person per day. Additionally have non perishable food along with a can opener. Include a first aid kit along with a supply of any necessary medication.

Pack cell phones, battery powered cell-phone chargers, radios and flashlights and a surplus of batteries to power them. Carry sleeping bags to obtain the ability to sleep in any location.

The next thing to have is an evacuation plan.

Contact your local office of emergency management, and know your emergency routes and resources. There may be rally points providing bulk evacuation. Communicate with your family and have an out-of-town contact to reach for accountability and shelter.

Last of all, be sure to stay informed. Keep up with emergency procedures and pay attention to local weather and news report. Citizens are highly advised to heed the warnings of the local government to ensure safety of their families and themselves.

Hurricane preparedness is a shared responsibility.

Don’t get caught unaware.

The public must be aware that Coast Guard assistance may not be immediately available following the landfall of a storm. The Coast Guard moves its cutters, aircraft, boats and personnel out of the path of the storm to keep them from harm. As soon as practicable, the Coast Guard will resume operations and respond to anyone in distress.

For more information and resources on Hurricane Preparedness visit ready.gov.

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