Hurricane season has started, it’s time to plan

Image of a past hurricane approaching the U.S. coast. Elements of this image were furnished by Nasa. (Bigstock)

COLUMBIA—The official Atlantic hurricane season started June 1 and will last through Nov. 30. That means families and parishes along the coast need to be ready to handle a storm and its aftermath. It is important to make preparations ahead of time because tropical systems can form suddenly and threaten quickly. 

There are three important things everyone needs to do during storm season:

Know where you are in relation to the highest threat area. Understand the height of your neighborhood related to possible storm surge because this surge of water is the biggest killer during a storm. 

Have a family plan. Know the evacuation routes your family will use if you leave ahead of a storm and know where you would go once you leave the area. Learn hurricane shelter locations if that would be your planned destination, or know where else you would stay, whether at a friend or relative’s house or a hotel. Have contact numbers readily available and a meet-up place planned if the family is separated. 

Prepare your home and supplies. Stores get crowded and essential items fly off shelves as a storm approaches, so it’s best to have a supply kit in place ahead of time — especially now when supplies are already low. Gather essential items such as non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, a battery-powered radio and water, and store them in waterproof containers. Keep important papers, extra medications and cash on hand because ATMs don’t work when the power goes out. 

Remember to include your pets. Most shelters don’t allow pets unless they are seeing-eye dogs or service animals, so make a plan to evacuate somewhere that will accept animals. Prepare a pet-survival kit to take with you, which includes a carrier, ID tag and collar, medications, and proof of vaccination and rabies tags for dogs or cats. Have at least a 14-day supply of dry food, water, bowls and any other supplies your animals will need.

For more information, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management page for hurricane guides in English and Spanish, a map to show where your zone is, and other pertinent information, including how to prepare amidst the pandemic. The American Red Cross site also has a detailed hurricane prep checklist.

Haga clic en este enlace para obtener recursos en español: Carolina del Sur – Guía de Huracanes 2020