Experts are predicting fewer storms during the 2017 hurricane season, which officially kicks off June 1st. Whether this season turns out to be less severe as expected or not, this week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week and the perfect time to plan for an emergency. Ready.gov suggests completing these seven steps to be better prepared for the hurricane season.
- Determine Your Risk: Hurricanes have multiple severe weather threats including, extreme winds, flooding and power outages. Know if the area you live and work in is more prone or vulnerable to a particular threat and begin prepping.
- Practice an Evacuation Plan: After assessing the hazards of a hurricane, it is important to plan your evacuation and transportation plans. You’ll need to act quickly in an emergency so knowing possible routes and practicing ahead of time will help save you in case of a disaster.
- Gather Disaster Supplies: There are many lists of basic supplies that could come in handy during a storm. FEMA suggests when prepping any kind of kit of “Go Bag” to focus on Five Ps of Evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs and Priceless items.
- Schedule an Insurance Check-Up: Did you know it usually takes around 30 days for flood insurance to begin? Does your current insurance policy cover high wind damage? If you live in a coastal area, having insurance that protects you from specific hurricane emergencies is important. Call your agent to review your policies and check your home for any vulnerabilities.
- Fortify Your Home: Aside from permanent storm shutters and trimming limbs of surrounding trees, there are many mitigation ideas for reducing your home’s risk during extreme weather. For example, forming a citizen plan committee could help fortify more than just one home, but whole neighborhoods if they are susceptible to flooding.
- Check With Your Neighbor: During emergency situations, entire communities often have to work together and rely on each other. Begin a conversation with your neighbors about ways you could help each other in case of severe weather. You could schedule a time to gather and prepare your supply kits together, discuss potential evacuation routes and ways to stay connected.
- Write Down Your Hurricane Plan: Once you’ve begun your preparations, write down your plan, where you might evacuate to, emergency contact numbers, etc. This will help alleviate stress if disaster does strike as well as make it easier for your whole family to know and practice your plan.
Ready.gov provides a full, comprehensive list about Hurricane Preparation you can review. During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, share your stories and tips or ask questions through social media channels using #HurricanePrep in your posts.