If you live in an area where hurricanes and tropical storms affect you, it’s time to get prepared! If you don’t have plans and preparations ready before the hurricane season begins, you might get caught unaware and not have what you need to stay safe. Hurricane season on the Pacific coast starts on May 15 and on the Atlantic coast starts on June 1.
Have an emergency communication plan
As with any potential disaster, an emergency communication plan is essential so that you know exactly what to do before, during and after a storm. You may have to react very quickly to an oncoming storm, so it’s important to have your emergency supplies ready in your car and in your home.
Not sure how to make a plan? Learn how to develop and practice your emergency communication plan.
Sign up for alerts
To make sure that you are aware of an potential oncoming hurricane, make sure you are receiving alerts via your smartphone. If you are aware of a Hurricane Watch, know that hurricane conditions could be coming in the next 48 hours. If you see a Hurricane Warning, storm conditions may be expected in 36 hours. Alerts should also tell you how you should proceed, including whether or not you should evacuate. If local officials order an evacuation of your area, do so as quickly as possible while keeping in touch with friends or family to make sure everyone is safe.
Improve your home outside of hurricane season
Outside of hurricane season, be sure that your home is up to code and strengthened as much as it can be. Make sure you have insurance that will cover any repairs that may need to be made. Ask specific questions about what may or may not be covered in terms of hurricane related damage. Remember: regular home insurance likely will not cover flood damage. Invest in flood insurance if you live in an area at risk for hurricanes.
Check in with your community
Check with your neighbors and see if they are ready for a storm. This can be particularly helpful if your neighbors are older and less able to prepare for a storm. Whole communities can get together to get prepared and learn about staying safe in a hurricane.
Here’s a great overview of what to do to be ready for a hurricane: