"Storm Clouds" by Andrea_44 on Flickr
Every year hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 1st. Chatham County is not usually in the direct path for a hurricane because of its location in the center of the state. However, we can feel the effects of a hurricane with lots of rain, wind, and power outages. Use Hurricane Irene’s approach this week to prepare you and your family for emergencies.
You may already have a preparedness kit and just need to check on your supplies. Replace anything with an expiration date. Or maybe you need to start a preparedness kit. Prepare as if the winds will be damaging and the power will be out for a several days. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!
What items do you already have that can be helpful for emergencies? Look around the house first before running to the store. Check your flash lights. Do you have one for everybody in the house and do they work? Don’t forget the batteries.
Look around your house outside. Are there things that strong winds could move or toss around? Move these things into the garage or shed. If the items are too big to store inside, try securing them into place with rope and garden stakes.
Check your food and water supply. Do you have enough food that can be eaten without heating it up on the stove or in the microwave? Store water for personal hygiene such as bathing (bird bath style), brushing your teeth, and flushing toilets. Don’t forget water for drinking and staying hydrated!
After the rain is gone, but the power is still out, people tend to cook on the grill. Make sure the grill is far enough away from the house to avoid catching the house on fire. Never bring a grill or any type of outdoor cooker into the house for cooking.
For more detailed information and tips on how to prepare for different types of emergencies, go to the following websites:
http://www.nccrimecontrol.org/ (click on the tab for Citizens)
Photo by dionhinchcliffe on flickr
Although we haven’t seen one yet, it is hurricane season. Hopefully you have an emergency plan in place for your family so that you can respond swiftly and safely to a disaster- but does it include your pet? An estimated 70,000 pets remained in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Fifteen thousand of these pets were rescued, but only about 20% of these pets were reunited with their owners.
Pets are important members of many families, so, to keep your animal companions safe, consider these tips for pet preparedness.
Pack your Pet’s Suitcase: In the case that you need to evacuate, pets will need certain supplies that you can either add to your family’s emergency kit or include in a separate pet preparedness kit. Along with food and a crate or other carrier, it’s a good idea to pack a recent photo of you and your pet in case you do get separated. For a complete list of kit items from the ASPCA, see http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness/.
Arrange Pet-Friendly Accommodations: As not all emergency relief shelters accept pets, it’s good to check around for alternate pet-friendly accommodations in the event you must evacuate your home. Check with out-of-town friends to see if they would be willing to take-in your pet in case of an emergency, or check with local animal shelters to see if they will shelter pets during emergencies. You can also check with kennels along your likely evacuation route and with hotels and motels to see which ones allow pets.
Get Your Pet’s Contact Information In Order: Be sure that your pet is wearing an up to date identification tag that includes his/her name, your name and telephone number (include a mobile number in case you are evacuated from your home) and any medical needs that could become urgent. Write your telephone number in permanent ink on your pet’s collar, in case the tag is lost. Write this information on the pet carrier you include in your pet emergency kit as well. Also, be sure to add your veterinarian’s contact information to your family’s list of emergency contacts. And, note the contact information of emergency pet medical care providers around your likely evacuation route.
To learn more,
The North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine has extensive information regarding pet and livestock preparedness at http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/awepp/disaster_prep.html.
FEMA http://www.ready.gov/america/_downloads/pets.pdf, the Humane Society of the US http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/tips/disaster_preparedness_pets.html , and the ASPCA http://www.ready.gov/america/index.html all have worthwhile resources on pet preparedness as well.
Even though North Carolina dodged a bullet with Hurricane Earl, it does remind us to be prepared. September is National Preparedness Month and it’s a good reminder for everyone to check their state of readiness. Are you, and your family, ready for emergencies such as severe storm weather, extended power outages, or an evacuation to a shelter?
It’s a good time to check your stash of emergency supplies and make sure you have what you need on hand. The more prepared you are, the less stressful emergencies can be. Go to www.ready.gov/ to get a kit, make a plan, and be informed.
June 1st begins another Hurricane Season and it will last until November 30th. North Carolina is ranked 4th in the number of cyclones produced by hurricane force winds in the United States. August, September, and October tend to be the most active months for hurricanes, but they can occur anytime during the season.
As you know, most of the damage caused by a hurricane(s) occurs along North Carolina’s coast. Obviously, this can be devastating for the coastal county residents. Because of its location, Chatham County has a lower chance of being in the direct path of a hurricane. However, hurricanes can come inland and still produce significant damage. Even if the hurricane doesn’t reach Chatham County, we can easily be affected by wind, rain, and power outages from a hurricane. So let’s get ready and be prepared!
The following websites provide a lot of information and checklists to help prepare you and your family (including pets!) for 2010 Hurricane Season:
American Red Cross- www.redcross.org
Federal Emergency Management Agency- www.fema.gov
Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed- www.ready.gov
Ready North Carolina- www.ReadyNC.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters
North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety- www.nccrimecontrol.org