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niceville
08-08-2012, 11:14 AM
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a near-normal year for hurricanes with nine to 15 storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Of these storms, four to 8 could strengthen to a hurricane with winds of 74 mph or higher, with as many as three becoming major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.

“Getting ready now can reduce the impact of hurricanes,” said Jerry Kindle, Chief Executive Officer. “Any one of these storms could pose a serious threat to people. Getting prepared ahead of time is the best way to be ready for any emergency of weather disaster.”

WHAT TO DO The Red Cross offers steps to get ready for hurricane season. These steps include:
• Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store.

• Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.

• Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets to be cared for.

• Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at www.FloodSmart.gov.