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The last thing vacationers think about when heading to their vacation destination is a hurricane. Unfortunately, hurricane season occurs during the time of year when many people are heading to coastal beaches and tropical locales. From June to November, a hurricane can wreak havoc leaving cities devastated.
When traveling and there is a threat of a hurricane, vacationers need to be prepared. Knowing what to do, what to have and where to go can mean the difference between being safe or being in a dangerous situation.
The following is a basic list of what every vacationer should know before, during and after a hurricane.
1. Check weather conditions before heading to an area under a hurricane watch or warning.
2. If a hurricane forms after you've arrived at your destination location and you're unable to leave, devise an emergency plan and implement it immediately. Start by finding out where the nearest evacuation location is for your area. Please note that not all evacuation centers allow pets.
3. If traveling by car, fill up the tank. After a storm, there is a good chance electricity will be out and gas pumps will not function.
4. Have cash on hand. If electricity is out, ATM's will not work meaning debit and credit cards are not usable.
5. Go shopping immediately as stores will empty out quickly of necessities. Put together a survival kit for each person in your group. The kit should include1 gallon of water for several days per person, along with non-perishable food items such as canned fruit, meat, and vegetables, juice, snacks, crackers, peanut butter, and granola bars. Include food, water, and litter for pets.
6. It's also important to have personal items for hygiene including soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, toilet tissue, feminine items, paper towels, moistened towelettes, and hand sanitizer.
7. Include in your survival kit a flashlight, extra batteries, garbage bags, manual can opener, first aid kit, sleeping bags, blankets, extra clothes and shoes, car cell phone charger, and a battery operated radio with a weather channel.
8. For anyone on medication, be sure to have at least a two week supply of meds on hand.
9. If traveling with pets, be sure your pet has a collar with its name, your contact information, phone number, and an emergency contact person in case your phone is not working. Bring along an extra leash and collar and a pet carrier.
10. When ordered to evacuate, do so immediately and go to your area's designated evacuation center. Staying behind to "ride out the storm" may leave you in a situation where rescue personnel cannot be dispatched.
Hurricanes range from a category 1 to category 5 with level 5 carrying winds over 150mph. While a category 1 may not have the same wind power, it can cause severe wind damage, storm surge, fallen trees, downed electric lines, and flooding.
When traveling to a hurricane prone area during hurricane season, be aware and be prepared whether the category level is one or five.