Tag Archives: Hurricane

  • Hurricanes: Early Arrivers Can Blow the Party

    Do you know why I like to be ready to host a party well before the guests arrive? It’s because there’s always that one person who just has to show-up super early. And, if I’m not ready by the time he shows up, he’ll make sure I’m never ready for the actual party because I’m too busy entertaining him.

    That’s what hurricane season is like. You know it’s coming, but there always seems to be that one storm that just has to be early.

    Well, folks, hurricane season is fast approaching (officially starting on June 1), and the early birds are already starting to arrive.

    Atlantic 2-Day Weather Outlook (5-8-15) Retrieved 5/8/15

    The National Hurricane Center is kind enough to provide us with a Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook of impending storms. This image was retrieved on Friday, May 08, 2015. As you can see, this looks to be quite the sub-tropical storm. Fortunately, this isn’t going to be a full-on hurricane, but it’s still going to whip your hair back and forth with a vengeance.

    This just goes to show that putting off our prep until the last moment can leave us high and dry. Er, windy and soaked? Well, you get the idea.

    trop-recent-may-storms-since-2007And this isn’t the only storm that’s wanted a head-start on the hurricane race. Since 2007, there have been three storms strong enough to be given names arrive before June 1 (only the memorable storms get names). There have been many more May storms before that, too. This particular storm we're talking about has been dubbed Ana - the first named storm of 2015.

    Now that we’re aware of these early party goers and that they can come in weeks before anticipated (which is a whole lot more rude than my hour-early party guest), we know that we’ll have to step up our A-game when it comes to preparing for hurricanes. Don’t wait, start now.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has issued a notice that, among other things, “adequate and advance preparation is one of the most significant ways Texans can help mitigate the unpredictable and dangerous nature of hurricanes.” The DPS also gave warning that hurricanes can cause massive amounts of damage even several hundred miles inland. Talk about a party crasher.

    So before a hurricane shows up, remember to take the following precautions in order to be safe and reduce damage from the storm.

     

    1. Emergency Kit

    No matter what the disaster, I will always tell you to have an emergency kit. You never know what kinds of incidents a hurricane can cause, so it’s best to be prepared. Be sure to have enough food and water to last you three days. Don’t forget flashlights (and batteries!), blankets, and a first aid kit. You’ll want to take care of any cuts and scrapes to avoid any infections. Check out our pre-built emergency kits, or go to ready.gov/build-a-kit for more details on how you can create your own.

     

    1. Secure Your Property

    Bring in any outside furniture, bicycles, or other items that aren’t secured. Cover your windows. The best option to protect your windows are permanent storm shutters. If you don’t have those, the next best option would be to use plywood, pre-cut to fit your window frame. If you have trees or shrubs, make sure they’re well-trimmed. This way they are more wind resistant and have a better chance of remaining where they were planted.

     

    1. Have a Plan

    If you don’t already know your community hurricane evacuation routes, be sure to start learning them. Teach your children these routes, and also help them know where to go to find higher ground.

     

    1. Communication

    You may not be with your family when disaster strikes. This is why it’s important to have a family communications plan. Find someone – a relative or trusted friend – that lives out of state that you can contact and notify that you’re safe. It may be easier to call out-of-town numbers than local ones. Text messages also have a better chance of going through when phone calls can’t. Have your kids memorize your number.

     

    Hurricane

    We can know a hurricane is coming many days before it hits, so we don’t have to be caught off guard when it does arrive. And even though hurricanes can surprise us by showing up early, they have the decency to let us know their intent. Of course, it’s always still best to be prepared even before we are made aware of the oncoming storm. So, don’t be upset when Mother Nature crashes your party early. Be prepared, now, to be a good host when she shows up.

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Emergency Kits, Planning Tagged With: party crasher, Hurricane, Prepare

  • 5 Things you May not Know about Hurricane Season

    5 Things you May not Know about Hurricane Season

    During my regular news trolling last week, I came across an AP headline that several of the big outlets had latched onto, titled “5 Things to Know About Hurricane Season.” You can read the same article from ABC News, Yahoo news, or The Washington Times, depending on your preferred association. But no matter how you access it, the upshot seems to be that it’s a year to breathe easy. El Niño’s back, which, the article claims, means warmer weather and both fewer and less intense storms. This is great news, considering hurricane season officially began June 1st, and I would really rather work on my tan than stock up on emergency candles during all this beautiful weather.

    Except maybe not.

    The Weather Channel, acting in its official capacity as the smart kid that nobody likes, has put out its own “5 Things” list, which isn’t, but could be subtitled, “Don’t Get Too Comfortable Yet.” In particular, the article points out how complicated and unpredictable a factor El Niño is (depending on geographical location, the warmer currents of El Niño can either lessen or increase the severity of storms), and reminds us that “below average” storm systems can still be devastating.

    For those of us who live in areas that are at all prone to hurricanes, this is not the time to get casual in our preparations. Fingers crossed that we don’t have a repeat of 2004, but, as the Weather Channel put it, “Perhaps a big anniversary will remind Americans it's possible, and it could happen again.”

    In case you missed the re-post a couple of months ago, our article, “How to Prepare for a Hurricane” includes a thorough list of downloadable resources and links to our 5-part Hurricane Preparedness mini-series.

     

    What are your best tips for hurricane preparedness?

     

    -Stacey Birk

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: hurricane preparedness, Hurricane, natural disaster

  • Your Efforts Are Making a Difference in the Philippines

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    Chalkboard with an image of the Philippine islands and the words "Thank You"

     

    Thank you so much for the efforts you made to help us outfit Charity Vision’s advance team. Those who were already on the ground in the Philippines are setting up their base camp and have connected with a local church so they have a safe “home base” for their operation.

    We delivered the supplies we promised to CharityVision last night, and the remaining members of the advance team (those who weren’t already in the Philippines) will fly out with those supplies on Saturday. Additional contributions that come in today will help to provide even more supplies.  Here is an excerpt from an email sent by one of the group members who is already in the Philippines. We hope it gives you an idea of what they'll be doing:

     

    "Here's the news so far!

    My goal is to have a base camp established and staffed by the time you [the rest of the advance team] arrive in Ormoc. A local church is organizing volunteers to handle facilities, outreach, internal security (along with police), organizing and controlling crowds, [and] sourcing victims to treat. Their women’s group will be in charge of water, cooking, cleaning and assisting with medical triage.

    The goal for those of you who are medical will be to hit the ground running. Those who are logistics or search and rescue will be making sorties into areas that have not had relief to clear roads and bring in those in the worst shape.

    Given the security concerns, my goal is to bring a massive show of relief to the city… We'll create a distribution model for health care and food. In order to receive either they [will] have to have been screened by the local volunteers and given a pass to get into the facility."

     

    You may also be interested to know that the supplies we send with CharityVision will be left behind in the Philippines when their team leaves, so those tools and supplies can continue to benefit the local communities.

    Thank you for your efforts, donations, and purchases—not only are they making this advance team’s medical, logistics, and search efforts possible, but they are facilitating the efforts of the larger group who will follow them to the Philippines shortly!

     

    We also want to give a special shout out to these vendors, who partnered with us to provide many additional supplies to the CharityVision team:

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: philippines, typhoon, Relief Efforts, Hurricane

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