4 things to do during a hurricane

Post by Michelle Bufkin, AU Agriculture Communications Student/EDEN Community of Practice Social Media Assistant

Last week we discussed what to do to prepare, before a hurricane forms. This week we will discuss what to during a hurricane in your area. Even though there are no hurricanes on either side of the US currently, it is never too early to prepare!

Hurrican 1. Listen to a weather radio or app
The best way to stay informed during a hurricane is to listen to a weather radio. Nowadays there are apps that do the same thing, but I would be wary about using them during a storm because the power may be out and your phone can die quickly when using them. You may ask, why should I listen to the weather radio, I already know a hurricane is in my area. Because hurricanes can cause other natural disasters such as: tornadoes, hail, flooding, and landslides. The best way to be prepared for these is to be informed.

2. Ensure food & water availability
One important thing to have during a hurricane is enough food and water for you and your family. The issue with this, is having food that can be eaten without power. For a list of suggested ready to eat food to have, visit this website. For a safe water supply fill up tubs for water to flush toilets. For safe drinking water fill up large containers, estimate a gallon of water a day per person for a few days. For more water tips visit here.

food safety3. Ensure (cold) food safety
One easy way to keep cold food safe is to turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep the doors closed. If the fridge temperature rises above 40 degrees for more than two hours go ahead and discard any perishable foods such as meat, poultry, leftovers, fish, and eggs. If your freezer rises above 40 degrees for an extended period of time and the food no longer has ice crystals on it throw it out. Never taste food to see if it is still good. Remember this handy tip: when in doubt, throw it out!

4. Evacuation
If you are considering evacuation, evacuate early. It reduces the stress on you and your family from traffic. If an evacuation becomes mandatory, know your evacuation routes and have a plan in place on how to reach them if they become congested. Don’t forget to already have a planned place to evacuate to, and contact them ahead of time.

I hope these tips help you feel more confident in preparing for when a hurricane is approaching your area. Remember: It is never too early to prepare!

Family Preparedness Friday

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It’s Off to School We Go

#Safety #checklist for when your kids get ready to go #backtoschool. #familypreparednessfriday #edenotes In my neck of the woods, kids headed back to school this week. And I’m guessing if yours haven’t started yet, they soon will be.

While I know for many parents back-to-school planning means meeting the teacher, buying cases of #2 pencils and notebook paper, and learning the new bus driver’s name, but have you considered starting the new year off buy learning your child’s school emergency plan or brushing up on your family emergency plan?

Remember, while no one likes to think of a disaster occurring, we like even less to think about a disaster occurring when we aren’t with our family.

Back to School Disaster Preparedness Checklist

Take the time now to:

  • Learn what your child’s school or day care emergency plan is.
  • Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.
  • Update your emergency contact information is at your child’s school or day care.
  • Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency and make sure the school knows who that designated person is.
  • Have a family communications plan.
  • Review your family communication plan with your child; the plan should include contact information for an out-of-area family member or friend, since local telephone networks may not work during a major disaster.

What have you done to prepare your child for going back to school?

Family Preparedness Friday

Plan now, reduce stress later

Are you a planner? Are you an “organized” (that is such a relative word) person? I like to think that I am both.

For example, this is my office.

Pardon the dark picture, in my area we choose to work without the overhead lights turned on.

 

I would say that my desk looks organized. Remember how I said that was a relative term? Here is what I compare my office against; the boss-man, Steve’s desk.

Please note those bookshelves! Oh my!!

 

Now, I am not saying Steve isn’t organized or a planner, because he really is. I’m just saying we work in the disaster realm; therefore, our offices tend to look like disasters. And maybe after two years of working in our new offices and publishing this on a very public forum Steve might be motivated to fix those bookshelves.

Now we may have two very different ways of organizing our offices, but we do agree on one thing and that is how to organize a family disaster plan.

A family disaster plan tells everyone in the household what they will do during an emergency. It helps everyone get organized. Having a plan reduces the stress of coping with a disaster in the aftermath.

EDEN delegates from the University of Missouri Extension system have created a disaster plan template to guide you and your family through the process of developing your family’s disaster plan. Creating this plan should be a whole family collaboration, that way everyone knows their role and responsibility in times of emergency.

Click here to go to the University of Missouri’s Family Disaster Plan electronic template. The template allots for two adult family members, two child family members, and six pet family members. If you need templates for additional family members don’t worry; click here for adults, here for children, and here for pets.

While we know this is an electronic document, remember to have a hard copy of this document as well.

Organize your family disaster plan now, to help reduce the effects of disasters later. Now I’m off to see if I can get Steve motivated to organize his office.