We are deep into the hurricane season, and see little sign of the hyperactive season weather forecasters predicted. In May, they said the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season should have up to 29 named storms, and 13 are likely to become hurricanes. Since the hurricane season goes to November we can assume we are not yet out of the woods.
So it’s a no-brainer that we should be prepared for all possibilities?  We know some of you have not even given it thought and probably won’t scramble to the hardware store until after the hurricane hits. That’s why we are encouraging you to consider the following tips out of an abundance of caution.
Stock Up:
Tin food, non-perishables, and drinking water are must-haves at home. If space allows have a special section for hurricane items where you store food and alert others in the house not to use such until necessary. Apart from food, stock up on essentials like tissue, candles, and batteries. Lamps, flashlights, and matches. We know if a hurricane hits a power outage is not far behind. Those who can afford it, get a backup generator. Also, keep a first aid kit handy for emergencies.
Keep Secure:
When possible, install storm shutters and use hurricane straps or protective cages at the base of the building. Secure windows and roofs from strong winds that may damage your home. Remove excessive brush from your yard and cut hanging limbs that could damage your home or vehicles. Secure loose and sharp objects or any debris that wind can carry easily and harm people.
Practice Safety Protocols:
Stay inside to prevent serious injuries and listen for updated weather reports to be alerted of evacuation orders from authorities. For this reason, a battery-powered radio comes in extremely handy.
When preparing for a hurricane, clean drains and gutters around your home. Perhaps you can encourage neighbors to do a community project to prevent flooding. The little rain we have gotten in June shows how quickly some parts of Jamaica flood because of poor drainage.
Create an Emergency Plan:
Prepare an emergency plan as a family and ensure that everyone is familiar with it. If you have young children at home brief them on the plan and let them keep emergency contacts on their person when they are out.
Backup Important Documents:
Keep copies of important documents such as identification, insurance policies, and medical records in a waterproof container. Consider backing up digital copies in a secure cloud service.
Stay Connected:
Charge your mobile devices fully before the storm hits. Portable chargers are a good investment. Know the emergency numbers for Jamaica and have a contact list of family and friends.
Vehicle Preparedness:
Ensure your vehicle is in good working condition and has a full tank of gas in the case of an emergency or evacuation.
Financial Preparedness:
Keep some cash on hand, as ATMs and credit card machines may not work during power outages. Ensure you have access to emergency funds if needed.
No one can predict the outcome of a hurricane, but being prepared is always a plus. Stay safe this hurricane season.


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