Hurricanes on the Horizon

The start of hurricane season, June 1, is around the corner. It is time to be prepared and watchful for any severe tropical weather threats. Within a two-year time frame, coastal areas in the U.S. are likely to be hit by at least three hurricanes, one of which will have a wind speed of 111 mph or greater. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

The start of hurricane season, June 1, is around the corner. It is time to be prepared and watchful for any severe tropical weather threats. Within a two-year time frame, coastal areas in the U.S. are likely to be hit by at least three hurricanes, one of which will have a wind speed of 111 mph or greater. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen/Released)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

 Bay County is a hot spot for tourism and family fun. The emerald waters and white-sandy beaches serve as a popular attraction to many who live outside of the coastal areas. However, this beauty comes at a cost. 

 

Every year from June 1 to Nov. 30 hurricane season is in full affect. A direct hit from a hurricane would cause detrimental damage, forcing people to leave their homes and the beloved city they know.

 

This is why it is important for Airmen and their families to be fully prepared for a possible hurricane encounter; it could mean the difference between being calm and collected or frantic and worried during the severe storm.

 

The 325th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness and emergency management flight provides helpful tips to keep Airmen and their families safe during this time of year.

 

Preparation is Key:

 

  • Stock-up on water and baby formula.

  • Store extra non-perishable food items and medication in an elevated location.

  • Important documents should be ready on hand in case of evacuation.

  • Install plywood to cover windows. Taping windows also helps to keep the glass together when it does break and limits the amount of airborne debris entering the home.

  • Have spare flashlights and extra batteries.

 

Survey the property for any items that can potentially damage your home if introduced to high-speed winds.

  • Cut dead branches from trees.

  • Remove trees that could potentially fall on top of a home or building.

  • Secure loose lawn items such as bikes, lawnmowers and trash cans.

 

Do the Research:

 

It is important to be familiar with the local area. For example, be aware of local flood zones and emergency evacuation routes.

 

Large waves can pose a threat to those who live on the coastline. Hurricanes have the capability to move water many miles inland.

 

Execute the Plan:

 

  • Have a detailed map and devise several escape routes in case one or more of the paths are closed.

  • Locate relatives, friends or hotels for accommodation when outside of the threat zone.

  • Write down phone numbers of emergency contacts, hotels and insurance companies.

  • Ensure that proper insurance coverage is purchased, including flood insurance if living near the coast or in a flood prone area.

  • Know where to send pets in case of evacuation. Some hurricane shelters or hotels will not allow pets.

  • Take a CPR and First-Aid class.

 

For more information or answers to your questions about local hazards, contact the readiness and emergency management flight at (850) 283-2010.

 

Additional information can be found at www.noaa.gov; www.floridadisaster.org; www.tyndall.af.mil/library/tyndallhurricanepage.asp