Monday, August 30, 2010

Ready for a Disaster in Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Earl was upgraded to hurricane status late yesterday and is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane by tomorrow morning. The hurricane will brush past Puerto Rico with at least gusty winds and flooding rain. By Friday, the hurricane could come on shore somewhere in the northeastern United States. Based on the current forecast track, that could be anywhere from North Carolina northward, including the possibility of crossing my location in Pennsylvania.

The Northeast hasn’t had a direct hurricane hit for a while, so the forecast for this new hurricane might serve to remind people what it means to be prepared for a disaster. For any disaster, this includes having drinkable water and food on hand, and perhaps batteries and fuel for driving. NOAA has a page of specific suggestions when there is a chance of a hurricane.

One simple action that can easily be done four days in advance is storing some water. For many people, this is as simple as filling several bottles with tap water. It’s something that you can easily do on any ordinary day, but that you may not be able to do after a disaster strikes. We can’t control and can’t always predict which way a hurricane will go, but there are things we can do to minimize the harm it may cause.