Forecasters say the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be the most active it’s been in four years.
“This year will mark a distinct upswing in activity from the past three seasons as an active tropical storm season is expected in 2016, with the number of hurricanes forecast to return to near or above normal,” Weather Network Meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham said in an article outlining expectations for this year’s hurricane season.
Here are some guidelines for residents of the Yucatan Peninsula and other areas that may be impacted by severe weather.
PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT
An emergency preparedness kit should include water (0.5-1 gallon/2-4 litres per person), canned goods, can opener, a First Aid kit, batteries, flashlight, medication, personal documentation, a battery-operated radio, blankets and toilet paper. It’s also a good idea to have spare house and car keys. Put aside some cash in small bills and coins, which would be especially useful if ATMs or debit card machines stop working. Leave your emergency kit by the door in case you need to “grab it and go.”
GET TO HIGHER GROUND
When a hurricane or powerful storm is hitting, people in low-lying coastal areas should stay over with family or friends who live on higher grounds. It’s also important to keep away from the water.
AROUND THE HOUSE
With high winds and rain, homeowners are urged to trim loose branches. Make sure there’s no debris that could be blown away through the high winds. The time before a storm is also a great opportunity to put lawn furniture away and ensure that items outside of your house are secure. Some other good ideas include making a list of contact information of family members, health providers, employers. While you’re at it, move your vehicle away from trees, which could topple over. It is also advised that you clear your drains and make sure your windows are closed.
FAMILY AND PETS
Every family is unique, and has different needs. A family with young children needs to think of ways to keep its smallest members occupied if the lights go out. A board game could do the trick. Stock up on any medication you might need, whether it is over-the-counter or prescription, and get an extra pair of eyeglasses, if possible.
Just as you need to have food and water for yourself, you also need to provide those essentials for your pets. Be sure to keep them inside during stormy weather.
Hurricane Dean approaches the Yucatan Peninsula in 2007. (MAP: earthobservatory.nasa.gov)
The Red Cross advises the following: