Hurricane season is here! (June 1-November 30)
A hurricane can have potentially long lasting and devastating effects if you are caught unprepared. It is not difficult to take steps before a hurricane hits to protect you and your home, but dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane when you did not prepare can be a long painful process. Don’t wait until a hurricane is on its way toward your home town; take the time now to secure the safety of you and your family so you are not caught off-guard by a hurricane this season. In South Carolina, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division is a great place to start to prepare for a disaster.
Steps to take before a hurricane hits (FEMA):
- Secure your home with permanent storm shutters or plywood.
- Make sure your roof is securely fastened to the frame structure of your home.
- Trim trees and shrubs.
- Clean out rain gutters and downspouts.
- If you have a boat, secure it.
- Build or determine which room in your house is the most secure in case of an emergency.
- Make copies of your personal records including Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, Passport, etc. Give the copies to relatives in another state or keep them stored electronically where they can be accessed from anywhere.
How to get help after a hurricane hits (National Disaster Legal Aid):
- A list of local organizations that can help can be found at www.lawhelp.org
- If you lose your ID, passport, Social Security card, or other important documents you can find out how to replace them at www.uslegalforms.com/life-documents.htm
- Sometimes homes are destroyed or inaccessible in the wake of a hurricane and families are not able to return home. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Public and Indian Housing and FEMA have programs that provide temporary housing.
- Families that are displaced due to hurricane might have problems finding employment. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program gives assistance through unemployment benefits. You cannot be eligible for these benefits if you already receive unemployment. Visit their website for eligibility requirements.
- If you are displaced because of a hurricane then your children will need to find a temporary school to meet their education needs. www.serve.org/nche/downloads/dis_hb/parents.pdf.
- Disaster food stamps assistance is available in the wake of a hurricane.
- Legal aid attorneys can help with landlord/tenant issues, contractor disputes, insurance issues and more.
- Other websites that can help in disaster preparedness: