Hurricane season begins June 1, and that means stocking up on supplies and being ready for anything that could happen.
This year marks the 12 years since Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi, and as many learned that year, it only takes one storm to destroy everything.
According to MEMA, the state is better prepared than ever to respond to a hurricane, but they advise Mississippians to take an active role in improving their ability to prepare for, survive and recover from the impacts of hurricanes by developing a family emergency plan, learning evacuation routes and assembling a three to five-day disaster supply kit.
Before a storm is even on the horizon, a lot of preparations need to be made. Checking homeowner’s insurance policies is a must, because they don’t always cover flooding. Talking with family members about an evacuation plan is helpful to make sure everyone is on the same page long before disaster strikes.
The list of supplies to have for a disaster is long, but a few important things to have on hand are:
- Canned and non-perishable foods
- Battery operated fans and flashlights
- Clean water
- Copies of important documents
The Red Cross offers a more detailed list here.
Pet owners should also keep in mind extra steps that must be made in preparing for a hurricane. Not only should pets have extra food kept in the family’s emergency kit, but also make sure to ID your pet. Not only should the pet’s tag have a cell phone number, but the pet should also be microchipped to better ensure a safe return in case the tag is lost.
When evacuating, pet owners should also make sure to have a safe place to go. Not all shelters or hotels will allow pets, so calling ahead to make sure pets are allowed is best. If you do decide to stay, bring all pets inside and make sure to keep areas safe for pets. More tips for specific pet safety during hurricanes can be found here.
As always, keep up with the weather through a weather radio to know exactly when a storm is imminent.