MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Hurricane forecasters are once again predicting an unusually active hurricane season for the United States. June 1st marks the start of the 2006 Hurricane season, and the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency urge Alabama residents to be prepared for another potential Gulf Coast disaster. There are three simple steps to making sure you and your family are ready for hurricane season: be informed, make a kit and make a plan.
"It is critical that residents take the all possible measures to plan ahead to prevent the loss of life and property," says Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch. "Hurricane Katrina has taught us that Alabamians living inland are also at risk from flooding, wind and other storm-related hazards."
An emergency preparedness kit should include the following:
- First-Aid Kit.
- Medical necessities, extra prescription medications and copies of prescriptions, eyeglasses, hearing aids.
- Important documents and records, photo IDs, proof of residence
- 3-day supply of non-perishable food; one gallon of bottled water per person per day.
- Coolers for food and ice storage, paper plates, plastic utensils.
- Cash (power outages mean banks and ATM's may be unavailable).
- Battery-operated radio.
- Flashlights with extra batteries.
- Phone numbers of family and friends.
- Road maps, a travel plan, hotel reservations, list of places to stop if the highways are clogged.
- Manual can opener, knife, tools, booster cables, fire extinguisher, duct tape, tarp, rope.
- Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and extra clothing.
- Toilet paper, cleanup supplies, personal hygiene products.
- Special supplies needed for babies, older adults or pets.
- Extra keys.
FEMA provides more valuable hurricane preparedness information and publications at www.fema.gov, and www.ready.gov. Information includes how to prepare a "go kit" and how to help ready your home to weather the storm or hurricane. To learn more about your flood risk and flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov or call (800) 427-4219.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.