Hurricane season begins either on May 15th (Eastern Pacific) or June 1st (Atlantic) and ends November 30th. During this time, you need to be prepared in case a hurricane strikes your area. Your planning should begin before hurricane season starts so you will know exactly what to do when disaster strikes. If you wait until the hurricane watch signal, you will be putting you and your family at risk by not being prepared. Gather your family and go over exactly what to do if and when a hurricane strikes. By being properly prepared, you’ll have a much greater chance at being safe and calm throughout the storm.
Being prepared for a hurricane starts well before the hurricane season begins. Make sure your trees are kept neat and trimmed to make your trees more wind-resistant and reduce the risk of damage from weak branches. Consider having straps or clasps installed to firmly lock your roof onto the frame. Look into getting good flood insurance for your home as most standard home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage due to hurricanes. Consider getting hurricane shutters for your windows to reduce the risk of damage from broken glass.
Have a Plan
Before hurricane season begins, sit down with your family and discuss your family emergency plan. Your family emergency plan needs to include an emergency, out-of-town contact, an emergency kit, a stay-at-home plan, and an evacuation plan. By preparing you and your family before a hurricane strikes, you will cut down on panic and risk.
For an emergency contact, use a relative or friend who lives out of town or out of state. If you and your family are not together when a hurricane hits, this contact will be the person your family members call to notify of their safety. During a hurricane, it will most likely be easier to make a call to another city or state rather than across town, so your contact will most likely be in a better position to communicate with any separated family members.
Your emergency kit needs to be fully stocked and ready to go all year round. Hurricanes are not the only potential disasters, and it is always better to be prepared for anything. Your emergency kit needs to have enough supplies for each person to last three to five days. In your emergency kit, you need to have water (at least one gallon per person, per day), non-perishable food to last at least three days, a crank or battery-powered radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, and a first aid kit. There are many other items you should have in your emergency kit, such as prescription medications, pet food, baby food, and cash.
You also need to have plans for staying at home during a hurricane and being evacuated during a hurricane. Make sure all family members understand the safest place in your home during a hurricane, usually a closet or other windowless room. Assign jobs to different family members. Have one person board up windows while another gets the emergency kit. Make sure everyone knows and understands how to do every job needed in case something happens to someone. Also develop an evacuation plan in case you need to evacuate your home during a hurricane.