NRA Families know that it's wise to prepare for the worst even as we hope for the best, and the year 2020 has shaped up to be one of "the worst" in a very, very long time. It's not over yet, either: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that this will be an active hurricane season. By "active," they mean we can expect 13 to 19 cyclones severe enough to be named, six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes. That's a lot of wind and water, and the season has only just begun.
Here's what NOAA recommends your family should do right now:
1. Know the hazards that are present in your area. Do you have trees that could come down and impact your home? A road that tends to wash out in heavy rain? Be aware of these ahead of time.
2. Review your insurance policies and confirm you have adequate coverage against each type of disaster you are vulnerable to.
3. Take a household and animal inventory and store copies in a safe location or online. Cataloging your belongings with a home inventory might sound tedious, but how easy would it be for you to recall all the contents of your home if you lost everything? Taking a home inventory can save you time and headaches when filing a claim following a disaster.
4. Prepare a disaster plan. Your plan should start with having somewhere safe to go. Think of someone who could house you, your family and your pets. Talk to them about what might happen in the event of a disaster. Then talk to everyone who lives in your home about what to do if there is an emergency and you are unable to return in a timely manner.
5. Have a communications plan. Consider that your family may not be together if a disaster strikes. How you will get to a safe place? How will you contact one another? How will you get back together? You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance. Your family should have a list of emergency contact numbers they can phone, and they should have it in hard copy because most people no longer memorize phone numbers.
6. Have an evacuation plan. In some cases when you need to evacuate, there may not be a lot of time. Plan how to evacuate your home quickly and make sure everyone knows the evacuation plan.
7. Supplies. In the event of a natural disaster please ensure that you have enough supplies to cover both your family’s needs as well as those of your pets.
8. Practice the steps that are needed to disconnect your home’s gas, water, and electricity. Test your generators to ensure they are operational and have backup supplies.
9. Before any disaster, you should inspect your home/facility and eliminate any potential hazards. In an emergency, ordinary items in your home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause a fire is a potential hazard.
And finally, last (but definitely not least):
10. Make sure you know your neighbors. Exchange phone numbers and keep an eye on elderly or disabled neighbors, or people with children – they might need extra help during a natural disaster. Have your Captive Wildlife Investigator’s phone number in the event of an escape or damage to your facility.