The slew of recent record-breaking storms throughout America has left many of us asking ourselves, could it happen to me? Could California be in danger? How do I keep my investment, family, belongings, and more safe?
It’s important for us to be proactive and create the best plan of action to ensure safety in the event of a hurricane or disaster. History supports the likelihood of a hurricane hitting San Francisco is rare. There are no hurricanes in recorded science in San Francisco. In 1854 there is a record of a tropical cyclone just north of where the golden gate bridge now located. Even if the risk is low we should still always be prepared. The best time to plan for a hurricane is when there is no hurricane.
What Helps Protect California From Hurricanes?
The cold waters of the Pacific Ocean make it difficult for hurricanes to maintain the force required to make it to the coast. However, California is at risk for severe rainfall from tropical storms that can cause flooding, damage, and occasional casualties. Even if a hurricane in California is an improbable event we should not ignore that it could happen anywhere.
Ways To Prepare For A Hurricane
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” Benjamin Franklin. Here are a few simple things you should do to help be prepared:
– Sign up for alerts and warnings
– Stay aware of your hurricane risk
– Make a family communication plan
– Be familiar with surroundings
– Plan shelter options
– Create an evacuation route
In the event of evacuation you will want to be prepared to make sure you don’t forget any items you may need. It’s a good idea to keep the following items, originals or copies, in a plastic or waterproof safe case that is easy to grab:
- Drivers license
- Deed to home
- Proof of insurance
- Medical records
- Social security cards
- List of personal contacts
- Emergency cash
If you have pets you may want to make sure they have current I.D. on their collar and are micro-chipped. In the event they are separated or lost this can help them be returned safely.
The following can help prepare to keep your home safe:
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. Make sure there are no diseased or weakened branches that can fall and cause damage to property or people nearby.
- Stockpile necessary material to make sandbags. To make a wall of sandbags that is about 1-foot-tall by 20-feet long it can take two adults about an hour.
- Protect your windows. If you have shutters make sure they are rated to provide protection during a forceful storm. If you are taken by surprise you can use old-fashioned planks of wood and nails to protect the windows. You may want to stockpile tools and wood.
Keeping an emergency cell phone or back up battery can be a good idea. In the event of an emergency you don’t want a low battery or dead cell phone. Make sure you have a way to communicate with friends, family, and make emergency calls. Social media outlets are another helpful source to receive updates and let others know you are safe. Since California is most likely at risk for sever flooding, try to avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. It only takes about 6 inches of moving water to knock you down and about 12 inches of water to sweep your car away. If you find yourself in search of safety during a flood move to higher ground. Lastly, always evacuate if you are directed to.