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) - With the country deep in the throes of winter weather, and hurricane season fast approaching, experts are reminding homeowners that having a plan in place can be the difference between survival and awaiting help from others.
Coming on the heels of some of the worst string of natural disasters this nation has ever known (think winter storms Nemo, Dion, Gemini or Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and of course Katrina), these forces of Mother Nature highlight the importance of being prepared.
"Ice and severe winter storms
can knock out power in an instant," says Jason Kawell, owner of Storm Survival Systems, a family-owned company that helps businesses and homeowners brace for the worst. "After Hurricane Sandy, millions waited for weeks just to get critical fuel supplies. What options will you have to protect yourself?"
Below are some storm-readiness tips to safeguard your home or business:
* Have a disaster plan. Find escape routes from the home or business, and establish a place to meet. If you're a homeowner, know where shelters are located (should you have to evacuate), and ask an out-of-state relative or friend to act as the point of contact.
* Put together a disaster-survival kit. This should include one or more flashlights and extra batteries, a portable, battery-operated radio (also with extra batteries), a first-aid kit, packaged and canned food, a week's worth of water, a manual can opener, sturdy shoes, basic tools, waterproof plastic bags and cash. Also, ensure that your car is fueled up and ready to go.
* Prepare before it matters. Companies like Storm Survival Systems offer American-made, custom-built storm shelters and portable fuel systems that will be invaluable in emergencies. "During a storm, the last thing you want to worry about is power," says Kawell. To this end, the company's products are designed to adhere to strict FEMA guidelines and are made to order and designed to fit generators already in use, thus keeping costs low. In addition, the fuel created is clean and helps efficiently power the existing generator.
Even as you ready for your state's natural disaster season (be it hurricane, tornado or blizzard), a good mantra is to hope for the best, but expect the worse -- and be prepared for it.
For more information, visit StormSurvivalSystems.com.