Prep is key before the storm

Published 10:03 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Because I’ve lived in the South for most of my life, I have experienced my fair share hurricane, not to mention some close calls.

When I was 9 years old, I remember living without power for more than a week after Hurricane Fran hit our home in North Carolina. And I had only lived in Hampton Roads for a month when Hurricane Isabel devastated the area.

Whenever I hear that a hurricane is coming, I usually feel prepared, but as Hurricane Irene bears down on the region, I realized this is the first time I’m preparing for a storm in my own home.

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Since this is my first time preparing for a hurricane on my own, I’m searching all of the resources I can think of to check things to do off my list.

The city’s Emergency Management website has a variety of resources and links to other sites to ensure preparedness.

There are steps to compiling an emergency kit that includes items such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries and a radio, and can serve every member of your family in the case of a disaster or evacuation.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website has a great list of supplies you should buy to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

The website also has tips on preparing a family emergency plan, which lays out a plan if different scenarios take place during the storm. And always remember to make plans for your pets, as well.

These plans are especially critical in the event that your family is separated during or after the storm because they outline who to call and where to go if that happens.

Although I’ve been through a lot of hurricanes in my lifetime, these storms are unpredictable, and it’s essential to protect yourself and your family as Irene makes its way toward Virginia.