The rains which lashed the island a few weeks ago made one thing very clear, we were not ready for such heavy rainfall. Roadways were quickly flooded and some persons found themselves stranded in their communities.
Was this a glimpse of what would have happened if we had been hit by a hurricane? Well since the rains have passed, there has been such intense heat that there has been speculation that this storm season will be a very active one. Whether or not that is true, we need to be prepared for the 2017 hurricane season.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on 1st of June and ends the 30th of November. Of course we can have storms outside of these months, however there is usually a higher possibility that these will be the affected months.
Do you know what basic measures you should take during this season?
Well some basic tips according to the Meteorological Service of Jamaica is that you must have an evacuation route. If you are ordered to evacuate, you should know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay.
You also need to start collecting items for a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate. It’s easier to buy these items now than when everyone is rushing to get them.
What if you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home?
If that is the case you need to plan for adequate supplies such as tinned products in case you lose power and water for several days as you might not be able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
Before a storm strikes, this is the opportunity to ensure that your home will be able to withstand a storm.
Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe. It is also important to secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
You can reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors. This can be done when the storm is being tracked and heading in your direction.
Ensure that you have adequate amounts of medication on hand in case you are not able to refill prescriptions.
Consumers who take the necessary precautions during this season will have less stress when they hear of an impending storm and will be better prepared for the season.
Are you prepared for the hurricane season? Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online Writer