As I write this post it is Thursday evening, August 25th 2011. If you have been listening to the news at all you will know that Hurricane Irene is making its way towards the East Coast and is predicted to hit the Carolinas up through the New England region beginning Saturday. According to the The Weather Channel Hurricane Irene has been upgraded to extreme. They predict possible flooding storm surges, wind damage, and torrential rain possibly resulting in power outages and devastation. Evacuations have already taken place for tourists on Ocracoke Island early Wednesday morning. The Navy has also taken preventive measures to have 27 ships leave Norfolk and other Virginia ports today. This morning North Carolina Governor Purdue has issued a state of emergency for all counties east of I-95. The weather experts are warning that Hurricane Irene may end up being a Category-4 storm. They are warning residents of North Carolina and even cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, and New York to take this storm very seriously. Millions of people on the entire east coast may be affected.
If you are like me, and suffer from anxiety, such severe weather warnings are probably heightening your worry and fears. In such a situation it is important to get the facts as you know them and to heed the advice given about how to prepare for such a potential emergency. Taking action through activities of disaster preparation will reduce your anxiety and make you feel more in control.
Here are some important links and information to help you get ready for Hurricane Irene:
• Hurricane Tracker and Updates (ABC 11 News)
Here are some general tips on how to prepare for a hurricane:
• If you live in low flood prone areas seek higher ground.
• Fill up your gas tanks and get out cash as gas pumps and ATM’s may not work during a disaster.
• If evacuation is a possibility, have a bag packed with essentials, ID, and insurance information.
• Stock up on non-perishable foods and water for at least five days. You will need a gallon of water for each person per day.
• Make sure you have a first-aid kit ready.
• You will need batteries, flashlights, and a portable radio for listening to the news.
• Make sure that you have your prescriptions filled and medications ready.
• If you have an infant make sure to stock up on formula and diapers.
• Make sure to include your pets in your preparations. Stock up on pet food and supplies. The ASPCA has a thorough information page on how to make an emergency plans for your pets.
• Prepare a disaster plan on how to locate and communicate with family members.