There are two distinct points to consider when talking about storm preparedness. The first of these is general, the other specific. In this article I will give a general overview of storm preparedness and what some practical steps could be taken for those living in areas prone to hurricane and tropical storm conditions. This is a very important topic and many people have little or no knowledge of the subject.
Storm preparedness is a combination of disaster management, FEMA and insurance. All three components must work in concert for proper risk assessment and advice on what steps to take after a hurricane or tropical storm. In order to do this you must begin by knowing the particulars of your area. What is it in terms of size, geography, climate, terrain, etc? As well as knowing the types of weather conditions that may impact your area.
The National Hurricane Center has a web site that provides a listing of all Tropical Storms and Hurricanes as well as a link to the Hurricane Warning System. On this site are graphs and reports of all the past storms. One can also use this site to find the location of any particular storm. This tool is important because there is very little chance that any category 3 or greater hurricanes will be without warning and this gives you a good idea of where you stand.
This tool is an essential part of your storm preparedness efforts. In addition to the reports you will also want to check out your local TV stations and check out your local newspaper. These will likely have local stories that relate to how your area is prepared for a hurricane or tropical storm conditions. These stories will be in the form of news articles and often times they will be local or regional. Local news stories can provide a wealth of information that will allow you to make better decisions about storm preparedness.
Weather radar is another useful tool to help you understand where the potential threats are from storms. Storms often have meteorological bands of thunderstorms known as Intra-tropical Cyclone (ITC) and Intrastate Convergence Zone (ICZ). These storms are common in places that have subtropical climates and these thunderstorms have an impact on the surrounding environment. They can spawn thunderstorms in other locations around the globe and they can reach a height of hurricane intensity. The bigger the storm, the more impact it will have on the local environment. The area affected by the storm can be found using a barometric pressure report.
In addition to knowing the type of storm you are in a position to understand what kind of insurance you are insuring your home and personal possessions against Hurricane related damage. There are many policies that cover you for hurricane damage but only the individual hurricane policy should contain this information. The individual policies should also contain a declaration of damage. This will allow you to calculate the amount of flood, wind, hail, etc that may have been caused by the storm. Flooding is particularly problematic with large storm because you can end up with water that has not reached the top of your roof and damage to the waterline might occur in areas inaccessible to electric power.
New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was a disaster area because so many homes were destroyed, property was destroyed and water damage was widespread. The water on the ground was dangerous and the damage was significant. If you live in the area you should make sure you know the amounts of money you are insured for and it is best to have a professional estimate done to determine the total cost of repairs. If you have any extra items then they should be insured. If you do not have flood insurance, then make sure you have hurricane insurance.
Hurricane preparedness is a topic worthy of discussion among friends and neighbors. If you are not in an area at risk, you should take the time to learn about storm preparedness and get educated. You may also want to go online and research what is available in your area and some of the other resources available. This will help to increase your knowledge and ability to better protect your family and your personal belongings in the future.