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Preparedness is having a plan and the necessary supplies to endure through the hardships one faces from uncontrollable events. For those that live in the South or Eastern seaboard, hurricanes are much more than a likely scenario this year. NOAA has already predicted that the 2013 hurricane season will be “active or extremely active” as we officially enter the six-month hurricane season on June 1st. This week marks National Hurricane Preparedness week, where NOAA and many government agencies are urging those living not just on the coast but also residents living inland, to have a plan and proper resources to be ready for the strength and power of a hurricane.
A satellite image shows Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico
Hurricanes are unique tropical storms in that they can combine winds above 150 miles per hour, tornadoes, storm surges, and heavy rain fall that can cause destruction, flooding, landslides, and power outages (learn more about hurricanes here). With the potential consequences that come from tropical storms the need for proper emergency preparedness is key for all. Utility Con Ed recently announced that it was investing $1 billion within the next four years to protect against damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. While the price tag is large for Con Ed, in proportion to the potential damage large storms can create, it is an investment worth making. Preparation for individuals and families is no different; it is an investment of a little time and money to ensure you are ready when time comes.There are a lot of resources for finding out how to prepare best for tropical storms. NOAA and Ready.gov both offer good places to start in preparing you and your family. First on their list is building an emergency kit far in advance a time of need. Many things can go into and be a part of an emergency kit but the essentials are undoubtedly water (one gallon of water per person, per day) and enough non-perishable food for three days. Because of the flooding potential that comes with hurricanes it is also important to have some of your supplies, such as matches or extra clothing, sealed in waterproof containers or bags. Having a plan and emergency kit is the first step towards preparedness. There are many other factors to consider depending on your needs, one of which may be a reliable cooking solution. EcoZoom stoves offer a great cooking option for preparedness needs: They are durable, easy to use, can be fueled with wood or charcoal depending on the model you have, and stored within a five-gallon bucket. The EcoZoom Dura and Dura Lite are great options for people that live in rural areas where wood and biomass are easier to find while the Versa and Versa Lite offer a better urban stove alternative since you can easily store charcoal and cook on a balcony or patio. Another added benefit of EcoZoom stoves is their ease of use for boiling water. During a prolonged power outage, cooking a hot meal or boiling water can be a daunting task and often times finding clean water may be a challenge. Many people resort to boiling water on their barbeque if they don’t have a propane burner, which is very inefficient and can take a long time. EcoZoom stoves offer efficient cooking and strong BTU output to quickly boil water when needed. As this week of hurricane preparedness winds down, please be sure to revisit your emergency supplies and preparedness plans so you can be ready in a time of need. There are a lot of good resources out there to consult so take the time to do research and prepare. About the Author: Tom Pritchard is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days. You can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.