Each year, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) reminds the public how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 and has its peak between mid-August and late October.
You should have a hurricane preparedness plan in place for hurricane season. The USCG recommends obtaining certain essentials, such as batteries, radios, flashlights and water. They also recommend paying attention to any neighborhood messages and evacuation instructions that are issued by local authorities.
You should also make sure to:
- Create a survival kit. Your disaster kit should contain first-aid materials, a flashlight, water and a radio. The Department of Homeland Security lists other important items for a hurricane survival kit on its website, gov. You should also put together a “go-bag” that contains items you could take with you during an evacuation, such as medications, cash and first-aid supplies.
- Make an evacuation plan. You should know the local hurricane evacuation routes beforehand in case you are told to evacuate by the authorities. If you are not sure of where to go, then you can contact your local emergency management agency for more information. Ready.gov has posted additional details on creating an effective evacuation plan.
- Sign up for alerts and warnings. The Department of Homeland Security recommends signing up for alerts and warnings in your area. You can perform a Google search by typing in your town’s name or zip code with the word “alerts”. In addition, you could also pay attention to hurricane warnings or evacuation orders sent out over the television or radio.
- Prepare your home or water vessel. You should go over hurricane plans with your local marina to ensure that your boat is kept away from debris or other hazards that may cause damage. If you are at home, then close storm shutters (if you have them) and stay away from windows. The DHS also recommends removing any lightweight or dangerous objects from your front porch.
- Don’t go out on the water either before or after a hurricane. Dangerous seas occur before and after a hurricane and weather can change quickly so it is best to delay any boating activities until a couple days after a hurricane.
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