The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season is nearly here! The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year and can be a scary time for some. Remember these simple tips from Kissimmee Utility Authority to keep safe before, during and after the storm.

Before the Hurricane

KUA recommends having most of your family’s emergency preparations completed in advance. By the time a storm watch or warning is issued for your area, there shouldn’t be much left to prepare.

Always check food, water, first aid, batteries, pet and other stored supplies to ensure they’re fresh and ready to use. Fill your car with gas and check the oil and tires. If there’s a chance you’ll have to evacuate, put anything you may need in your car. Try to complete household chores before the storm hits, so you and your family will be comfortable if you must spend time at home without power. It’s important to pick up any loose items outside and store them in a safe and secure place until after the storm passes. If you have a generator, make sure it is ready and is in a safe location for operation. When a hurricane “Warning” has been issued for Osceola County, check with your local government on their sandbag distribution policy and locations.

We’re fortunate enough to have notice of hurricanes several days in advance. Keep in mind the hurricanes track is constantly changing, so it’s best to always be prepared. If you’re in the storm’s path, you may need to evacuate the area early. Knowing your evacuation routes should be part of your family’s evacuation plan. You can find the evacuation orders of Florida counties here.

During the Hurricane

KUA recommends making every possible effort to prevent being trapped at home during a hurricane. It’s a good idea to keep your family informed on what to do during the storm in case someone becomes stranded and must weather the storm at home.

NEVER go outside during a hurricane. Even when the storm’s eye is moving through the area, it’s not safe to be outside. Stay away from any windows or glass-paned doors that haven’t been boarded up from the outside. Cover them with blankets from the inside to prevent injury or damage from water, flying debris or broken glass. Stay in an interior room of your home for extra safety and keep up with the local news and weather broadcasts as well as other emergency bulletins. DO NOT rely on candles or flammable lighting materials, instead use glow sticks, flashlights, or battery-powered lamps. NEVER travel on the roads until after the storm has passed and local authorities have declared the area safe for traveling.

After the Hurricane

It’s natural to feel a sense of relief when the storm moves away from your area but it’s extremely important to proceed with caution as many dangers remain after a hurricane’s passed. According to KUA, most hurricane-deaths occur after a hurricane, usually when people are removing debris. Downed power lines, broken water, sewer or gas lines, clogged roadways and dangling tree limbs are just a few of the many post-hurricane hazards that must be delt with.

To stay safe during the cleanup, DO NOT drive through standing water. You could become stranded, injured, or swept away by flash-flood waters. Be aware of any broken utility lines and report these problems to the authorities. NEVER touch or move downed lines or repair broken electric or gas connections. Remember that storm debris can camouflage downed power lines or create hiding places for wild animals.

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