The Atlantic hurricane season runs through the end of November, and staying prepared by having a plan is critical to surviving a potential disaster.
“90% of the fatalities of tropical systems historically are from the water,” said Ken Graham, National Hurricane Center director. “In the last three years, 83% of fatalities from tropical systems have been from inland flooding, more than half in automobiles.”
Graham also emphasized the lower category hurricanes require just as much consideration for preparation due to their ability to cause catastrophic damage.
“In the last decade, Category 1 storms have produced $103 billion worth of damage and 175 fatalities,” Graham said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers these tips to help prepare for hurricanes.
Gather information. NOAA emphasizes to “know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Understand National Weather Service forecast products and especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.”
Plan and take action. Put together a disaster supply kit which includes water, food, a flashlight and a first aid kit. To see the full suggested contents of the kit, visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.
Planning and taking action includes having an emergency plan, guarding the community’s health, protecting the environment, following instructions from local officials for evacuation and staying alert for other potential weather hazards including tornadoes brought in by the hurricane.
Recover. This highlights the need to wait for the area to be declared safe before returning home, and to remember that recovery takes time.
Resources. Know the resources offered for preparation before a hurricane occurs as well as the resources available for recovery including the NOAA, Ready.gov, and the National Weather Service web sites.
The Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System standardizes the method for the Air Force to account, assess, manage and monitor the recovery and reconstitution process for personnel and their families affected and/or scattered by a wide-spread catastrophic event. AFPAAS provides valuable information to all levels of the Air Force chain of command, allowing commanders to make strategic decisions which facilitate a return to stability.
To make sure your information is up-to-date in AFPAAS, visit the Emergency Preparedness tab on https://www.afrc.af.mil.