Friday, June 20, 2014

June in a Nutshell

Keeping an Eye on the Sky During Hurricane Season

By Squiggy the Squirrel

Are you ready for Hanna, Kyle, Omar, and Sally?

No, these aren't names of future dinner guests. They're the names of potential 2014 hurricanes - powerful and dangerous storms that may impact you and your community in the next few months.

June 1st marked the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, so I thought this was the perfect time to talk about hurricane preparedness. I added this topic to my summer reading list and here's what I want to share. 

During the summer and fall months, storms can form in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific oceans. Once winds reach 74 miles per hour, a storm is officially classified as a hurricane. Hurricanes are then further categorized by their intensity, ranging from Category 1 to the most intense, Category 5. The latter have winds of 156 miles per hour or greater! 

Make sure to monitor the news and internet this summer if you hear a hurricane's headed your way. These storms move fast, so you'll want to know in advance what steps you'll need to take. There are two key threats that you should be aware of.

If there's a hurricane watch:
  • This means conditions are a threat within 48 hours
  • It's a good time to review your hurricane safety checklist with your family
  • Get ready to act if a warning is issued

If there's a hurricane warning:
  • This means conditions are expected within 36 hours
  • Complete your storm preparedness
  • Leave the area if directed to do so by authorities

The Red Cross has many tips and important information on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. But, a great way to prepare now is to download the Red Cross Hurricane App. It has many helpful features, including:
  • "I'm safe" messaging to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media that you're safe
  • Location-based NOAA weather alerts
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters
  • Checklists to create a family emergency plan
  • Instant access to critical action steps without mobile connectivity
  • A toolkit with flashlight, strobe light, and audible alarm
  • Interactive quizzes

Learn more about the app and download it by texting "GETCANE" to 90999 or searching for "Red Cross Hurricane" in the Apple Store or Google Play

The Red Cross has offered life saving services to many people during and after hurricanes. See how Red Cross provided assistance after Hurricane Sandy.

Share this post with family and friends so they're prepared, too!


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