10 hurricane preparation tips to know

Disasters come in many forms; explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and others. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany these disasters. Individuals, families, and communities should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare makes any crisis more manageable. (Courtesy photo illustration/Air Force Civil Engineer Center Readiness Division)

Disasters come in many forms; explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and others. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany these disasters. Individuals, families, and communities should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare makes any crisis more manageable. (Courtesy photo illustration/Air Force Civil Engineer Center Readiness Division)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The ingredients for a hurricane include a pre- existing weather disturbance, warm tropical oceans, moisture, and relatively light winds aloft. If the right conditions persist long enough, they can combine to produce the violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains, and floods we associate with this phenomenon.

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from June 1 to Nov. 30. The peak of the season is mid-August through late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season.

In an effort to prepare Team Patrick-Cape, and its surrounding communities, prior to when a hurricane warning is issued, the readiness and emergency management office offers the following tips:

1. Prepare a family disaster kit with supplies for at least 72 hours.
2. Know your evacuation route and have an evacuation location pre-identified.
3. Prepare family members with special needs, such as infants, elderly and disabled persons. If you plan on evacuating to a Brevard County shelter you must register beforehand.
4. Prepare/secure your home from animals or reptiles seeking shelter. Secure your property, by locking windows and doors and removing valuable items.
5. Ensure vehicle(s) are in good condition and gas tanks don't go below half empty.
6. Include pets in plans from the beginning.
7. Explain hurricane plans to all family members.
8. Have emergency cash reserves as operational ATMs might not be available.
9. Take inventory and document contents of your house for insurance purposes prior to departing.
10. Update information in the Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (AFPAAS). For more information go to www.afpaas.af.mil or call 800-435-9941.

The 45th Civil Engineer Squadron Readiness and Emergency Management Flight has made a Family Disaster Planning Guide.
Individuals and families can fill in their information which can help them plan to be ready for an emergency situation. Additional information and resources can also be obtained from the official Patrick AFB website by clicking on the Hurricane Information tab. For additional information about preparing for disaster visit the Air Force link www.beready.af.mil.

(Information from The Hurricane Survival Guide: Your Pathway to Preparedness was used in this article).