The hurricane season in the United States begins in June and ends in November, with peak activity occurring throughout August and September. All areas of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, typically densely populated areas, are susceptible to the dangers of the hurricanes and tropical storms that inevitably collide with them every year. These storms can range anywhere from relatively harmless to extremely dangerous, and that is why it’s important to be prepared for anything should one set itself on a crash course for your hometown. Here are some essential tips to keep you and your family safe and aware when it comes to these seasonal storms.
1. Know Your Evacuation Route
In the event that a storm is deemed too dangerous to withstand within your home or community, it is important to know where and how you and your family can avoid the danger altogether. To find out your evacuation route, you can either contact a local agency for emergency management or simply search online for evacuation routes in your city or county. Save the information and commit it to memory in order to be most prepared in the event of a power outage or loss of communication with authorities.
2. Discuss Safety Plans with Neighbors and Family
Making sure everyone is on the same page both within your family and your immediate community is extremely important to mitigate the chaotic circumstances surrounding an approaching storm. Find out who is or is not evacuating, what routes they plan to take and any other preparation measures they’ve taken in order to facilitate cooperation and, in the worst case, provide information to authorities in the event someone is missing. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do and where to go should they lose their means of communication with your or others.
3. Hurricane-proof Your Home
If evacuation is not necessary or achievable, ensure that your home is prepared to withstand the strength of the storm as best as it can. Reinforce weaker areas such as windows and doors, clear any over-reaching branches or limbs from nearby trees that may fall on your house and ensure that any drainage areas are clear of debris to prevent water buildup. Also, prepare for extended periods of utility outages by purchasing a generator and ensuring you have adequate food and clean water to sustain you and your family for days or, in some cases, even weeks.
Preparing for the worst can be a daunting task, but luckily there is a plethora of informative resources online to help get you started. For instance, Ready.gov has everything from simple tips to links to evacuation route PDFs and flood insurance information.