The PA Emergency Management Agency Friday urged residents to prepare for possible severe weather during Hurricane Preparedness Week, which stretches May 24 through May 30.
“Pennsylvania has had some devastating storms during the hurricane season,” said PEMA Director Richard D. Flinn, Jr. “It is important for our citizens to be prepared and be resilient. What they do now can pay big dividends in the event of a hurricane.”
Families should prepare for two scenarios in the event of severe weather: to remain in their homes during the duration of a storm or to evacuate if it is recommended, or ordered, by local authorities.
“If history has taught us anything, it’s the importance of hurricane awareness and preparation in mitigating the devastation in all major hurricane disasters,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. “This is an especially important lesson for individuals with access and functional needs who might require more assistance during a disaster. Knowing your vulnerability and the actions you should take ahead of time will reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster and help keep you and your loved ones safe.”
Residents should always have enough provisions in their homes to last at least 72 hours because help from emergency responders may not be immediately available when severe weather strikes.
Other disaster preparedness supplies to have at the ready include: Flashlights and extra batteries; Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries; First aid kit and manual; Emergency food and water; Non-electric can opener; Essential medicines/prescriptions; Cash, credit cards and important legal documents; and Sturdy shoes.
If residents are ordered by local officials to evacuate, they should do so without hesitating and should take important documents with them, including: Checkbooks; Driver's license; Credit card information; Birth certificates; Social Security cards; and Other forms and documents proving ownership/identity.
“Preparedness means taking care of yourself and your family. It can save lives, so we urge people to take preparedness seriously,” Flinn said.
For more information on how to make a disaster supply kit and how to prepare for all kinds of emergencies, visit www.readypa.org.
The beginning of hurricane season is a good time to review insurance policies for adequate coverage on property. PEMA encourages Pennsylvanians to consider buying flood insurance policies for homes and businesses that can be insured.
Early preparation is important because flood insurance policies generally require 30 days before taking effect.
Unlike wind damage, damage caused by rising water is not covered by homeowners or business insurance policies. Flood insurance coverage must be purchased separately. Most insurance companies and licensed insurance agents handle flood insurance policies.For more information about flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.