Harrisburg — With the Atlantic hurricane season now under way, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to always be prepared for the possibility of severe weather.
“Last year, the remnants of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee brought historic flooding and destruction to the state,” said PEMA Director Glenn M. Cannon, who noted that two unusually early tropical storms formed during May. “Everyone should take advantage of this ‘calm before the storm’ to prepare for severe weather.”
Families should prepare for two scenarios in the event of severe weather: to remain in their homes during the duration of a storm, or to evacuate if it is recommended or ordered by local authorities.
Residents should always have enough provisions in their homes to last at least 72 hours because help from emergency responders may not be immediately available when severe weather strikes.
Other disaster preparedness supplies to have at the ready include:
- Flashlights and extra batteries;
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries;
- First aid kit and manual;
- Emergency food and water;
- Non-electric can opener;
- Essential medicines/prescriptions;
- Cash, credit cards and important legal documents; and
- Sturdy shoes.
If residents are ordered by local officials to evacuate, they should do so without hesitating and should take important documents with them, including:
- Driver's license;
- Credit card information;
- Birth certificates;
- Social Security cards; and
- Other forms and documents proving ownership/identity.
“Planning what you and your family would do and how you would communicate before and during an emergency makes sense because ultimately, it could save the lives of those you love,” Cannon said.
For more information on how to make a disaster supply kit and how to prepare for all kinds of emergencies, visit the ReadyPA website or call 1-888-973-2397.
Cannon noted that the beginning of hurricane season is a good time to review insurance policies for adequate coverage on property. PEMA encourages Pennsylvanians to consider buying flood insurance policies for homes, businesses and municipal property that can be insured.
Early preparation is important because flood insurance policies generally require 30 days before taking effect.
Unlike wind damage, damage caused by rising water is not covered by homeowners or business insurance policies. Flood insurance coverage must be purchased separately. Most insurance companies and licensed insurance agents handle flood insurance policies.
For more information about flood insurance, visit the National Flood Insurance Program website.
To protect your property with a flood insurance policy, call your insurance agent or call 1-800-427-2419 to find an agent near you.