Hurricane Sandy survivors: Prepare now, not later -

Hurricane Sandy survivors: Prepare now, not later

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) - Sunday marked the start of the 2014 hurricane season. Forecasters expect a near-normal to below average season.

The national oceanic and atmospheric administration predicts 8 to 13 named storms. Three to six of could become hurricanes.

 Bernadette and Jerry Joewinski were in New Jersey for their anniversary when Hurricane Sandy hit. The couple explained they were stuck there for 5 days.

That's because they didn't have any gas in their car. A family member had a house with a generator which gave them a place to stay.  But outside the doors, the devastation was all around. 

“We took a walk up towards the boards, the boardwalk and we got up there and there were cars along the road, all stuck in sand, in the houses, all over the place a lot of people live there all year round it's not just a summer place so you know they had no place to go,” said Bernadette.

“It was devastating to me as a child going along Ocean County beaches and the boardwalk and seeing that devastation it was heartbreaking,” said Jerry.

Hurricane Sandy was a reality check for the couple. They said a hurricane is something that can happen to anyone. So now they make sure to prepare ahead of any warnings.

“We make sure our batteries are good for flashlights and that we do have water and things like that and this time we'll make sure we have cash and some gas because when we were in Jersey I said that to my husband because you know we could have came back home the next day but we didn't have enough gas, you know that's what they say to have cash and gas and this time we'll make sure we have that if there is a threat,” said Bernadette.  

Supplies from canned goods to flashlights are also inside their pantry. And they have a plan if they need to evacuate.

“You do have to make sure you have your medicines with you and that I had only because I was traveling and had enough with me but people that live there you know get your medicines refilled or an animal you have to have preparations for your animal to put him in a shelter or something but you have to know where to go yourself in case you don't have a friends place who has a generator. You have to go to a shelter or know where to go and try to help other people that might need it,” said Bernadette.

Local Emergency Management officials said if an evacuation is ordered, it could take over a day to clear the coast.

“Everyone thinks it's not going to happen to you but it can you know we lived it in New Jersey thank god we all were safe,” said Bernadette.

Horry County Emergency Management lists several steps you can take before the threat of a hurricane. Here are some of their tips:

-          Review insurance policies

-          Prepare emergency supply kit: includes batteries and non-perishable foods

-          Have copies of passports and birth certificates ready in case you have to evacuate 

-          Know your evacuate zone

For  more information on how to prepare for a hurricane, click here.
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