The 2018 Hurricane Seasonbegins on June 1 and continues through November 30. Dr. Philip Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell, ofColorado State University, on April 5, 2018, released the Extended RangeForecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and Landfall StrikeProbability for 2018. The 2018 forecastanticipates above-average activity. Dr.Klotzbach is predicting 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.
Begin your annual hurricaneseason preparations early. EnduringHurricane Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017, now is the time to prepare yourfamily’s disaster plan. Here are somethings to keep in mind as you develop your plan:
Discussdisaster plans as a family – Develop a list of things that need to be taken care of in preparingfor a disaster. A disaster can beespecially frightening for young children. Assemble an "activity kit" so they will have things todo. You can include some of theirfavorite things such as books, puzzles, games, crayons, markers, paper,scissors, glue, a toy, and a stuffed animal.
Makeevacuation plans – Decide where you will go if an evacuation order is given and leavewell in advance of the approaching storm as evacuation routes could be heavilycongested.
Takeinventory of your valuables – Prepare a list, take videos or photos.
Review yourinsurance policies – Do this well in advance of an approaching storm. Once a hurricane watch has been issued, mostinsurers will not issue new or additional coverage, including floodinsurance. Flood damage is not coveredunder a homeowner’s policy. A separatepolicy must be purchased. For information regarding flood insurance, please visit www.floodsmart.gov which can help you rate your risk, estimate premiums, and find an agent. Keep these documents in a safe place.
Check yourhome for vulnerable areas – roof, windows, garage doors, patio doors, etc., should be checked todetermine what protective measures you should make to secure your home in theevent of an approaching storm.
Protectvehicles –Decide where you will store or park your vehicles, boat, or RV. Remember to check your insurance policies foryour vehicles and keep them in a safe place.
Reduce damageto your property – You may wish to install window shutters, purchase a generator, trimtrees, and double-check tie-down straps and anchors if you live in a mobilehome or a manufactured home.
Special needs – Make arrangements wellin advance of a storm for the care of infants, the elderly, and those withspecial needs. Persons with special needs should register with the Volusia County Health Department at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chd/volusia/SPNS.html. If someone in your household has a disabilityor special need, take additional steps to protect them. Create an emergency kitthat includes an extra supply of prescription medicines, a list of medicationsand their dosages; an extra set of eyeglasses and extra hearing-aid batteries;an extra walking device, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen if necessary; extracopies of medical insurance documents and Medicare/Medicaid cards; and a listof doctors, relatives, and friends who should be notified.
Plan for yourpets –Make plans for your pets whether you stay or evacuate. In addition to food, water, and bowls, yourpet’s disaster kit should include leashes, toys, bedding, carrier, medications,newspaper, cat litter, plastic bags for waste, license and vaccinationdocumentation. Remember to make plans for large outdoor pets such as horses.
Assemble adisaster supply kit – Make sure to have a week’s supply of nonperishable food, water andmedical items for your family. Make achecklist well in advance. For help making your family disaster plan, visit www.floridadisaster.org and http://www.volusia.org/emergency/.
Share yourplans –Let family, friends, and coworkers know your plans, and how they can reachyou. Establish an out-of-town point ofcontact with a family member or friend.
Emergency notifications – Sign up to receive emergency telephone or e-mail notifications from Volusia County’s Emergency Management Division at https://www.volusia.org/services/public-protection/emergency-management/get-connected/ . Sign up to receive CodeRED emergency notifications from the City of Ormond Beach at https://public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/F061CACDBEC6.You are encouraged to select “text” alerts to receive messages. Phone services are sometimes lost duringsevere weather, and receiving texts is an additional option for gettingimportant emergency information.
Please don’t wait until a storm is approaching,make your disaster plan now. Informationregarding disaster preparedness can be found on the City’s website: www.ormondbeach.org. Under the “Residents” tab, click “EmergencyAlerts” and then click on “Emergency Preparedness,” there is a link to“Hurricane Preparedness” which provides additional information as well as linksto other valuable resources.
Other resources available include FEMA, www.ready.gov, American Red Cross, www.redcross.org, and National Oceanic andAtmospheric Association (NOAA) National Weather Service, www.weather.gov/safety.php.