(Tampa, FL)- Experts are predicting an above normal Hurricane season in 2017. Are you ready? There have already been several named storms and there are bound to be many more. In Florida, and in particular, the Tampa Bay area, it is important to put a personal disaster plan together. Be ready when there is a weather emergency declared.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an above-normal 2017 Hurricane Season with five to nine hurricanes (minimum 74 mph winds), of which two to four will be Category 3 or stronger (minimum 111 mph winds). The forecast calls for a total of 11 to 17 tropical systems (minimum 39 mph winds).
Here are some tips that will help you with the Hurricane Planning.
Basic Hurricane/Disaster Supplies Kit
A basic emergency supply kit includes the following recommended 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
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers
PETS AND PLANNING FOR THEM DURING A STORM
- ID your pet. Make sure your pet’s tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Also consider micro-chipping your pets.
- Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
- Make a pet emergency kit. Download Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners for a full list of items to include in your pets kit.
Check out this quick list:
- Pet food
- Bottled water
- Veterinary records
- Cat litter/pan
- Manual can opener
- Food dishes
- First aid kit and other supplies
- Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point. Include your local animal shelter’s number in your list of emergency numbers.
- Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can’t escape.
It’s easier to prepare this kit before the storm event is nearing Tampa so you aren’t competing with everyone else for these same items. If you decide to evacuate, wait until an area is declared safe before returning home. Remember that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. You should have this kit with you when you arrive back home if you did decided to evacuate.
Keep these facts in mind and protect what matters most, your family.