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"Though we are not on the coast, our community has still been impacted by hurricanes, whether it's from them passing over to us Irma and Matthew to sheltering residents evacuating from coastal areas," says EMA Director Spencer Hawkins. "We are asking people to begin thinking now what they and their family can do to prepare should another of these dangerous storms pass over us."
Beginning this week and throughout the month of May, people are encouraged to take the following steps to ensure they are better prepared.
- MBCAlert. Make sure you've signed up for MBCAlert at www.maconbibb.us/mbcalert to get phone calls, emails, and text notifications of severe weather and preparedness information.
- Social Media. Follow the Macon-Bibb EMA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for weather updates and preparedness information. Also make sure you are following local weather forecasters and media outlets.
- Determine Your Risk. Hurricanes bring many hazards including storm surge along the coast, inland flooding, tornadoes, strong wind, rip currents and large waves. Find out today what types of wind and water hazards could occur where you live, and then start preparing now for how to handle them.
- Develop an Evacuation Plan. Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you do, begin planning where you would go and how you would get there. Become familiar with Georgia Navigator, so when the time comes, you'll know the way to go. You can also find evacuation routes here.
- Assemble Disaster Supplies. You're going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Make a list of supplies and assemble them before hurricane season begins. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person at least three days. Remember battery operated radios, flashlights, batteries, phone chargers, hand sanitizers, masks, cash and pet supplies!
- Get an Insurance Checkup. Call your insurance company or agent for an insurance check-up before hurricane season to ensure you have enough coverage to repair or even replace your home. Also, check on your car or boat insurance. Remember that flood insurance must be obtained separately and requires a 30-day waiting period. Know where your insurance documents are located and take them with you if the need arises for you to evacuate.
- Strengthen Your Home. To help protect your home, especially if you don't plan to evacuate, before hurricane season, trim trees on your property and get approved coverings for doors including garage doors and windows. Ahead of a storm, collect loose outdoor items, secure all doors and windows on your property and find a safe location for your vehicle(s).
- Help Your Neighbor. Many senior citizen residents rely on the assistance of neighbors before and after hurricanes. There are many ways you can help your neighbors during the hurricane season. You may assist your neighbor in acquiring the supplies they'll need before a storm, during the evacuation process if ordered and after it's safe to return home or go outside.
- Complete A Written Plan. The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins, when you have the time and are not under pressure. Writing down your hurricane plan will help you avoid mistakes during an emergency and ensure everyone in your home is prepared. Have a list of essential contacts, including outside the potential impact area, review and practice your plan with your family and friends and use the Ready Georgia planning tool to create a customized plan for your family.
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