Prepare Yourself for Hurricane Season
POSTED: Friday, June 1, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Friday, June 1, 2012 - 8:09am
RIO GRANDE VALLEY — "Safety is key before, during and after the storm," said Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Barry Goldsmith.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts up to 8 hurricanes this season...3 of which might be major.
"Now that you've heard that forecast, I want you to take it in your mind, store it for a minute and remove it from your mind. The reason is, it only takes one storm to make a season," said Goldsmith.
And a quiet forecast doesn't necessarily mean a quiet season overall.
Goldsmith says there are two kinds of emergency kits you want to prepare with....the "go kit"...and the "stay kit."
"The go kit isn't all that much. Three days of clothing, about a day or so of food, enough fuel for vehicles, all those insurance papers, mortgage papers and certainly your prescriptions and the medicines you need," said Goldsmith.
If you plan to stay, you could be looking at 3 to 10 days without power. The stay kit includes non perishables like canned goods and bottled water to drink and bathe in.
"Have flash lights, batteries, transistor radios...you want a can opener that's not electric," said Goldsmith.
A recent study found 7 out of 10 Americans still believe taping their windows will protect them from wind damage. However, the only thing tape is going to do is keep your windows from shattering.
"Once the wind gets inside a house anything can happen, including the walls falling down, the rood being lifted off. There's no more protection," said Goldsmith.
Plywood around an inch is best for covering windows in the mid Valley and accordion or pull down shutters is recommended for the lower Valley.
"If you are planning on covering your windows you need to buy and start stockpiling that material now," said Emergency Management Coordinator, Shawn Snider.
Make sure to tighten all waterspouts and remove any outdoor furniture and garbage cans...
"...anything that is not tied down, because it can become a projectile," said Snider.
Last year there were 19 hurricanes...one of the worst years on record and the best thing we can do is be prepared for the power of mother nature.
"Will this year be the valley's year? We have no idea at this point in May which is why preparedness is key all the time for any hurricane season," said Goldsmith.