Hurricane Michael, which is closing in on the Florida Panhandle with sustained winds of nearly 150 mph, could be the most destructive storm to hit the area in decades.
The hurricane is classified as a Category 4 storm, and it could produce a storm surge of up to 14 feet in some coastal areas, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest update.
2017 was a record-breaking year for emergencies nationwide, as the US saw more than $300 billion in damage due to natural disasters. But according to a survey conducted by Farmers Insurance, 60% of Americans still do not have an emergency plan for natural disasters.
Jarrod Murrieta, head of claims catastrophe response at Farmers Insurance, told Business Insider that preparedness is crucial, from knowing which disasters are more likely to occur in one’s region to understanding how to respond to them.
Murrieta and other officials say all homes should have emergency kits. Take a look at some of the recommended items:
SEE ALSO: Life-saving facts that could help in almost any natural disaster, from fires to hurricanes
Prepare an emergency kit.
About 70% of people living in the United States have experienced a natural disaster before, according to Farmers Insurance. One-third say they have experienced a hurricane.
Of the 2,007 people who responded to Farmers Insurance’s disaster preparedness survey, half of those who have previously seen a natural disaster still do not have an emergency kit in their home.
Millennials are the most likely generation to own an emergency kit, according to the survey.
Make sure you have enough bottled water; otherwise, know how to filter it.
Everyone should have enough clean water at home to last at least three days, Murrieta said.
When water gets contaminated during a natural disaster, Murrieta said it is best to drink bottled water or to boil water. Sometimes, however, neither option may be available.
Murrieta said he owns the filtration device Lifestraw, which helps remove bacteria and parasites from water.
Include non-perishable food, and don’t forget about your pets.
All emergency kits should have non-perishable food, such as protein bars and canned goods, Murrieta said. Make sure you have a can opener as well.
He noted that it is important to incorporate pets’ needs into emergency kits as well. According to the Farmers Insurance survey, 35% of pet owners who have emergency kits did not put anything for their pet into the kit. Only 30% of pet owners had pet-specific kits.
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Source:: Business Insider – Science