The Safety Tip of the Month is provided by U.Va.'s Office of Emergency Preparedness on the 11th of every month.
May 11, 2012 — We can hear what you're thinking: Really? You're warning us about hurricanes AGAIN?
That's right, friends, and we likely will next May as well, because here's the deal – even though we preach it again and again, thousands of people are devastated by hurricane destruction every year. While no amount of preparedness can prevent a hurricane, a little bit of planning can make a huge difference in reducing the stress.
Before the Storm
Inventory your emergency kit. Check to be sure flashlights are operable and all your batteries, foodstuffs, first aid kits and documents are relevant and in date. If you do not yet have a kit, GET ONE! Whether at home or traveling, have a plan, become familiar with evacuation routes and be ready to execute your plan if a warning or evacuation is announced. See the 2012 edition of the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide here.
And when you book that beach rental, consider forking out for the insurance. It's bad enough to have your vacation cut short or canceled because of a hurricane, but even worse if you can't get your money back.
During the Storm
When a warning is called, stay informed of the latest developments and instructions. If ordered to evacuate, do so if at all possible. Know that evacuation orders are not given lightly and those in authority making that call are doing so based on the best and most current information available.
After the Storm
After the storm, report any power lines that are down and stay away from them. Finally, be patient. It may take some time before things are back to normal.
To learn more about hurricane preparedness, go to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's hurricane site or to the FEMA Hurricane site.