What We Learned From Hurricane Matthew Last Year.
Hurricane Season for 2017 has officially begun. The season is expected to be more active than historical averages with regard to the number of named storms, according to the latest forecasts released by Colorado State University and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. After living in Savannah for over 15 years, keeping one eye on the weather is a common practice. But for us, last year was different — it was our first Hurricane Season as homeowners. Our new home ownership made us really stop and consider our hurricane preparedness when Hurricane Season approaches. Below are a few things that we learned from Hurricane Matthew, which rolled through Savannah and the Lowcountry last year.
Have A Plan
Actually, have 2 plans. Go ahead and sit down and get some general ideas of what you will do in the event of a hurricane. This means creating an emergency kit, deciding where you will go if you have to evacuate, and securing your home. Don’t wait until the first storm hits to get flood insurance — sign up for it now. Most policies have a 30-day waiting period before going into effect. As specific storms approach throughout the season, you will need to tailor your plan specifically to the size/path/duration of the storm.
Stock Up Early
Go ahead and stock up on essential supplies that will keep throughout the season, such as batteries, emergency candles, bottled water, and dried foods (trail mix packets, nuts, etc.). Keep these set aside in a dry and secure area so that you will have them when you need them. If you have to use them at some point during the season, be sure to replenish your supply as soon as you can. Don’t wait until the last minute to hit the stores for food and supplies.
Watch and Listen
Pay attention to local weather forecasts. Storm paths change quickly and without much warning, so listen out for local weather alert. Also listen to local officials for warnings and instructions, such as evacuation orders.
If the order is given to evacuate, then evacuate if at all possible. Hopefully, you’ve already made a plan and have somewhere to go to ride out the storm outside of Savannah. Again, don’t wait until the last minute. Hotels in surrounding areas, and even emergency shelters, will fill up quickly. If you are unable to evacuate, then be sure to follow directions from local officials regarding seeking shelter, curfews, etc.
Stay Put and Be Patient
This last one is easier said than done, but it is for your own good as well as those around you. If you are able to evacuate, don’t try to get back in until you’ve been given permission to do so. If you were forced to stay, don’t go wandering around your neighborhood. Respect your local officials, line workers, and clean-up crews — they have a job to do and they are trying to do it.