It’s hurricane season: Are you prepared?

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

With Tropical Storm Andrea bearing down in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Season is officially under way.

And for folks here in Pike County, who are close enough to the to Coast to feel the effects of storms as they roll inland or who have property at the Coast, it’s time to once again take stock of your emergency preparation plan and supplies. This advice, from the CDC, is worth repeating:

• Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.

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• Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before storms strike. Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.

• Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it.

• Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, stocks, etc.

• Post emergency phone numbers at every phone.

• Inform local authorities about any special needs, i.e., elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability.

• Make plans to ensure your pets’ safety.

And, as always, now is the time to check your emergency supplies: weather radio and battery powered radio, flashlights, batteries, candles, bottled water, non-perishable foods, first aid kits, personal hygiene supplies, and an emergency kit for your vehicle. Generators and fuel are good to have on hand as well.

Taking the time to prepare now will provide much-needed peace of mind if we do face storms this year.