Sunday May 15th marks the start of Hurricane Preparedness Week. During this nationwide observance, households across the country are advised to assess their hurricane risk and develop an evacuation plan, even if the potential is low. Depending on the strength of a hurricane when it makes landfall, it may still be powerful enough to travel hundreds–or possibly over a thousand–miles inland.
During the first days after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, power was out in many areas of New York and New Jersey. If families got separated and had no planned meeting location, in some cases they were apart for days or weeks until power and resources made it possible for them to connect again. Families, friends, and roommates are advised to have a pre-determined meet-up location in case they are unable to reach each other by normal communication post-event.
Several websites allow for check-in and searching for others; however, these obviously require internet and electricity:
- The American Red Cross hosts the Safe & Well site for reporting yourself as safe or finding others.
- A similar resource hosted by FEMA is the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS). This website also allows families and friends to check-in or locate each other.
- Facebook has also utilized a locator service, asking users to check-in to acknowledge their safety.
In advance of a storm, households should prepare emergency supplies and go-kits since there is usually little time to gather needed supplies during evacuations. The Ready.gov site has several timeline recommendations as well as a supply kit check list.
Take the time to plan and prepare.