132 mph winds, 27 trillion gallons of rain and, tragically, 88 lives lost – Hurricane Harvey carved a destructive path across the Gulf Coast last fall. Harvey went down as the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Texas since 1961, and many families are still working to rebuild their lives.
Natural disasters can happen suddenly, with little to no warning. As Harvey’s 1-year anniversary approaches, the Upbring family encourages you to make a plan for protecting your family during hurricane season.
Here are 6 simple hurricane preparedness tips for the 2018 hurricane season:
1. Stock an emergency preparedness kit with essentials such as food, water, medications, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries and cash. Be sure to include your pets’ essentials.
2. Keep important documents in a safe place, or create password-protected, digital copies as part of your hurricane preparedness plan.
3. Protect your property by decluttering drains and gutters to prevent flooding, installing check valves in plumbing to prevent backups, and considering hurricane shutters. Remember that homeowners’ and renters’ insurance do not typically cover flood damages, but flood insurance does.
4. Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. During disasters, sending text messages is usually faster and more reliable than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded. The American Red Cross Safe & Well website allows you to tell family and friends you are safe during a disaster.
5. You might have to leave home quickly, so prepare an evacuation plan. Review your evacuation zone and route, and learn where emergency shelters are located. Keep your car in good working condition and your gas tank full. Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes for each member of your family. Finally, and most importantly, never ignore an evacuation order.
6. Sign up for disaster alerts to stay up-to-date during a disaster. You can also download apps by the American Red Cross, the Weather Channel and FEMA.
For more information about protecting your home and family during hurricane season, visit these websites:
LSS Disaster Response – Here for the short and long haul
In Harvey’s wake, Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response was there to meet families’ immediate needs by providing emergency hardship grants and helping them find food, clothing, medical assistance and safe, clean shelter. Because of your support, we are also there for the long haul, offering assistance for future preparedness, emotional and spiritual care, volunteer coordination and long-term recovery.
On behalf of the many families impacted by Hurricane Harvey, thank you for your prayers, your donations and the gift of your volunteer efforts. Together, we are supporting families during difficult circumstances and allowing them to focus on creating safe, loving homes for their children.