By Nina Raffio
It's hurricane season. Are you prepared? Here are 6 things to keep in mind to prepare yourself, your friends and your family.
1. Although hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 31, if conditions are right, hurricanes can occur at any time of the year.
2. Know the difference between a hurricane watch and warning. A hurricane watch indicates that conditions are a threat within 48 hours. If you learn of a watch, review your hurricane plans, get ready to act and stay informed. A hurricane warning indicates that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
3. Know your zone. Use the NYC Office of Emergency Management online map to find out which New York City hurricane evacuation zone you live in and to locate nearby shelters.
4. The worst hurricane damage is caused by storm surges (giant walls of water pushed onshore by hurricane winds), rather than high winds.
5. Hurricanes do not only affect people that live in coastal areas--they can reach hundreds of miles inland.
6. Board, don't tape. Taping up windows does not keep them from breaking and therefore offers little protection against flying debris. Use plywood instead.
For more about hurricane preparedness including information about our mobile apps, click here.
Nina Raffio is an intern at the American Red Cross Greater New York Region and is part of its Individual and Community Preparedness team. She also attends New York University, where she is currently studying Global Public Health/Media, Culture and Communication.