Each year, with the official start of the hurricane season on June 1, I dust off and update my disaster preparation plan. And updating is important, because, my how things have changed.
Back in the day, my parents told me where we would muster (such an odd word), if worst came to worst. Now, with the family so geographically dispersed, we talk about our communications plan; in effect, we lay out who will call, email, Facebook or tweet who to relay important survival information.
For Gilbert in 1988, my Mom scrambled to find a battery operated radio so that we could listen for updates on the storm. For Sandy last year I downloaded some important apps and followed prominent media houses on Twitter for my primary news and information. I tracked the storm from beginning to its bitter end on my mobile phone.
I still stock up on food and water, turn up my fridge and fill my bathtub. But these days, all of that is just as important as charging all my electronic devices (smartphone, laptop, MiFi and the like), getting a car charger (and filling my car’s gas tank so I can use it to charge) and stocking up on battery packs and spare batteries … just in case.
My important documents are still in a Ziplock® bag, but they are also digitally scanned and uploaded to the cloud. Heaven forbid the bag floats away or is lodged under a tree, I can access the documents I need from any internet enabled device.
Right after Gilbert, my neighbours and I hit the streets; in effect we went to ‘fass’ and see what damage had been done next door. These days, I turn to photo and video sharing sites to see the impact of the storm all over the world!
|Muster Point||Comms Plan|
|Stock up on food and water||Get car charger and battery pack|
|Turn up thermostat on fridge||Charge everything|
|Secure important documents in water proof bags||Secure important documents in the cloud|
|Get battery operated transistor radio||Follow news outlets on Twitter|
|Compile emergency number contact list||Bookmark websites|
- Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management (ODPEM)
- Jamaica Real Estate Guide
- Jamaica Fire Brigade
- Go Jamaica Hurricane Tips
- Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency