When a Hurricane Watch has been issued for your area, it is absolutely essential to know exactly how you should respond to this alert. Hurricane Season is in effect from the 1st day of June each year to the 30th day of November. This type of storm is often referred to as a "tropical cyclone". A hurricane has a wind circulation the moves in a counterclockwise motion. It also contains a large number of thunderstorms and a tremendous amount of rain. A Hurricane Watch means that you have the possibility of experiencing hurricane conditions within the time frame of 36 hours. A hurricane is officially labeled as a category 1 when it reaches wind speeds of 74 mph or more. The Hurricane Watch should be a sign for you to finish preparing for the storm.
The first thing that you should do is review the disaster plan that you and your family have established. Everyone should agree on one standard when it comes to this type of plan. Each individual in your family should know and understand all important phone numbers, as well as contact information for friends and family members that may be able to assist during an emergency. They should also know exactly where to go and what to do in case you are all separated - which has been known to happen during more than one hurricane in the past.
If you have any type of pets that may be subjected to the potential hurricane, it is important to make the necessary arrangements for them. There are many pet shelters and shelters for people that are pet friendly. Many become so worried about the potential for damage to them and their home that they fail to consider their pets. Do not forget this very important step.
You should gather all of your important documents and store them in a waterproof container that you can carry in a suitcase or a backpack. This includes will, power of attorneys, insurance documentation, records that cover births, marriages, and deaths, as well as a list that documents all of the serial numbers that are located on high priced, needed, and/or valuable items that may be ruined during a hurricane. These items may include computers, televisions, and even furniture!
You should ensure that your emergency preparation kit is prepared. This kit should include first aid supplies, prescriptions, rain coats, umbrella's, whistles, battery operated weather radios, food rations, water rations, tools, and more! Make certain that this kit is prepared and ready to go in case you have to evacuate quickly.
You should go into your yard and locate anything that may be picked up by the winds of a potential hurricane. These items should be properly secured and/or stored. Flying debris, even a small piece of wood, in 74 mph winds of a hurricane may prove to be fatal. This is why it is vital to ensure that there are no objects that could potentially serve as a weapon to your home, vehicle, or another person if caught in the dangerous winds of a hurricane.
You should shop for essentials when a Hurricane Watch is issued. It is actually best to buy supplies all year long when you can get good deals because it allows you to be more prepared when Hurricane Season arrives. If you wait until the last minute, you may go to the store only to find that the shelves are completely empty. You should purchase plenty of bottled water, waterproof matches, hurricane lamps and oils, batteries, flashlights, a good tool set, and similar items. If the hurricane is causing immense flooding, you may even consider an inflatable canoe and/or raft and life jackets. These are especially helpful during flash floods that often accompany hurricanes.
While you are out shopping for all those extra supplies, be sure to pick up one or two gas containers that are relatively large and throw them in the trunk. You should stop by a gas station and top the fuel tank off, as well as these containers. This is especially true if you are at a potential risk for being advised to evacuate and/or you will be using a fuel powered generator if electricity is interrupted.
You should keep your ear on a NOAA Weather Radio at all times. Weather has been known to change rapidly, with little to no notice at all. The information that you receive here will inform you to the latest regarding the hurricane. You should also pay close attention to local media such as newspapers and local news channels. In many cases, these media types can provide more information to you regarding the specifics in your particular area.
You should ensure that all of the windows and sliding glass doors on your home are properly protected. Shutters, duct tape, plywood - these are all excellent means to properly protect your windows and prevent them from breaking due to high winds, or debris flying in those high winds.
When a Hurricane Watch is issued, you should keep yourself out of danger. Do not drive on roads that are covered by water, stay away from the location of the storm, do not go to the beach, and do not attempt any water or air sports. All of these things may put you in harm's way. Encourage all members of your family to take the same precautionary measures.