Floridians know well that with each new year comes another hurricane season. If you’ve been through a hurricane before, you probably think you know what to expect. However, whether you’re a seasoned hurricane preparer or are new to the game, we’ve put together this guide to help you this coming hurricane season.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Hurricane season starts June 1stfor the Atlantic side of the states and ends on November 30th.
- Hurricanes are more common in the United States along the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
- According to FEMA, the most active month for hurricanes is September.
- Depending upon your location, you could experience high-power winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, storm surges, tornadoes and rip currents among other threatening events during a hurricane.
WHAT TO DO
- The most important first step is to assess the level of threat hurricanes pose to you, your family and your property; know which disasters are more likely to threaten your community.
- Know the terminology.The National Weather Service (NWS) will issue a hurricane watch when it’s within 48 hours of landfall, a hurricane warning when it’s within 36 hours of landfall, an extreme wind warning when high-power winds pose an imminent threat, and an evacuation notice when the danger associated with the hurricane is significant.
- Prepare for at least three days.If your area is hit by a hurricane, you should prepare to have all the necessities on hand for at least three days in case of an emergency. Local supermarkets and restaurants will likely be closed or damaged in the event of a hurricane emergency, so prepare to rely on the basics.
- Plan ahead.It’s important to plan for a hurricane well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase basic hurricane kit items such as batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, non-perishable food items and water. These are typically the items that fly from the shelves first when an emergency is imminent and the closest store where these items are available could be many miles away.
- Keep a full tank.Like the basic necessities, gas is one of the first things to become unavailable for miles around in the event of a hurricane. To make sure you and your loved ones can evacuate, if necessary, ensure that you refill your tank more often during hurricane active months than you during the rest of the year.
- Protect your property. Check your insurance to know your exact coverages in the event of a natural disaster. Consider purchasing windows and window shutters that are specifically designed to withstand hurricane winds and storm surges. Raise items in your home that would be subject to damage in the event of a flood from the floor.
- Stay put if you don’t need to evacuate.If your community is not issued an evacuation notice, keep you and your family safe by staying put in your home or shelter during a hurricane. Do not go outside during a hurricane, where moving water may pose a threat. Create a mini-headquarters in your home in a windowless room that is less likely to flood. Stay away from all windows.
- Keep a radio on hand.Always have a reliable way to access important news alerts and instructions in the event of a hurricane. Keep a household radio powered with batteries or an emergency generator so you can be informed at all times. Don’t rely on cellular service or wifi as services likely will become unavailable in the event of an emergency.
Above all, it’s important to use common-sense strategies to prepare for your unique hurricane situation. The Kendrick Law Group wishes everyone a safe hurricane season this year.
FEMA V-1006/May 2018
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