What’s most essential in an emergency? Preparation! Safety is the first priority - emergencies don’t wait until we’re ready. This couldn’t be more imperative before a hurricane. Hurricane threats can eventually turn into high winds, a storm surge, high rainfall and rip currents; the aftermath is devastating.
Many of us are affected by potential hurricanes. Below are hurricane seasons depending on where you live. But it’s important to be ready at any moment - the impact from hurricanes can extend several hundred miles inland.
Eastern Pacific Hurricanes: May 15 - November 30
Atlantic Hurricane Season: June 1 - November 30
Central Pacific Hurricane Season: June 1 - November 30
Making yourself resilient in the face of a hurricane’s immense destruction will give you peace of mind. Because the truth is - even if there’s a warning - it’s not like hurricanes always call ahead and tell us when they’re ready to hit! That’s why it’s crucial to take matters into your own hands so you and your loved ones are prepared in advance.
Here are some important steps to keep you safe and healthy in the event of a hurricane.
Be Prepared for a Hurricane With These 4 Steps
1.Sign Up and Monitor Local and National Alerts
Knowledge is power. Stay informed with the most up-to-date information by monitoring local news and reports through:
If you’re in a particularly vulnerable area, sign up for your local warning system. You can also download the FEMA Mobile App to get real-time alerts and tips.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
These are sent through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) by public safety officials. Check that your device is capable of receiving WEA messages with your service provider.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS)
A National Public Warning System used at the discretion of the President to deliver important emergency information.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio
Broadcasts official warnings and weather forecasts 24/7.
2. Make an Emergency Family Plan
Your biggest sense of relief will undoubtedly come from knowing that your family is ready and protected in the face of a hurricane. Here’s some actionable to-dos:
Identify Evacuation Needs and Routes
Make a list of what you’ll need to bring along with you, specifically water, food, medications, pets, and important documents. Keep your cell phone charged and purchase back-up charging devices.
Locate the safest exit routes in your home and learn the evacuation zones and routes for your area, including nearby family and shelters. Pick a place for everyone to meet up in case you get separated. You can check with your local emergency management office for designed shelters.
Have Preparedness Conversations
Sit down with your family to discuss your evacuation plan. Ensure everyone is on the same page with communication, evacuation plans, a back-up meeting place and emergency contacts.
Choose an At-Home Safe Room
In case you’re not able to safely leave your house, establish a safe space for sheltering in place. A FEMA-approved safe room is a standalone structure or one built into your home that is windowless and not prone to flooding.
Keep an Emergency Preparedness Kit Accessible
We recommend a JUDY ready-kit. The Safe and The Mover Max are stocked with everything you need for you and your family at a moment’s notice.
3. Prepare Your House for a Hurricane
During hurricane season, storms can bring dangerous winds and heavy rain causing major power outages and structural damage, but typically with proper warning. Still, the last thing you need is items flying around and windows breaking, especially if you’re still in the house.
Here’s how to proactively protect your home before a hurricane:
- Purchase or re-evaluate your home’s flood insurance;
- Invest in permanent storm shutters or install one-half-inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to secure any windows and doors;
- Identify a place to store any outdoor furniture including: toys, gardening tools, trash cans, etc.;
- Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home and away from stairs and exits;
- Fill plastic bottles, bathtubs and sinks with clean water for drinking, flushing toilets, or washing in case of an evacuation notice;
- Fill you vehicle’s gas tank;
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances; and,
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and structural pressure.
4. Prepare Important Documents for a Hurricane
Collect all financial, medical, education and sentimental documents and records. Make photocopies of everything. This includes digital copies and waterproof protected physical copies in one place.
Set aside an Emergency-Only Fund ahead of time so you have enough to provide for at least 10 days of food and supplies. Start now by transferring a few dollars every week. And have some cash handy in case of bank power outages and floods.
Are You Prepared for a Hurricane?
Let’s make “ready” your new mantra! By getting prepared for a hurricane, you and your loved ones will be calm, cool and collected in the face of an emergency.
If you have additional questions, send them our way!