Two keys to weather safety are to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials. These are essential pieces to the Weather-Ready Nation.
Refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready.gov/hurricanes for comprehensive information on hurricane preparedness at home and in your community.
Some highlights on how to prepare and take action are available below:
- Gather Information
- Plan & Take Action
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Know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Understand National Weather Service forecast products and especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
Contact your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office. Find out what type of emergencies could occur and how you should respond.
Keep a list of local contact information for reference:
- Local Emergency Management Office
- County Law Enforcement
- County Public Safety Fire/Rescue
- State, County and City/Town Government
- Local Hospitals
- Local Utilities
- Local American Red Cross
- Local TV Stations
- Local Radio Stations
- Your Property Insurance Agent
- Assemble a basic disaster supplies kit
- Know where to store for different situations
- Kid’s Guide for a Disaster Supply Kit (Suggested by Jack & Heather Wells)
- Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan – [PDF]
- Be sure to plan for locations away from home
- Business owners and site locations should create Workplace Plans
- Make sure schools and daycares have School Emergency Plans
- Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offer information on animal health impacts in evacuation shelters.
- Prepare your boat and be aware of marine safety if you are on or near the water.
- Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home. FOLLOW instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
- Consider your protection options to decide whether to stay or evacuate your home if you are not ordered to evacuate.
Be alert for:
- Tornadoes – they are often spawned by hurricanes.
- The calm “eye” of the storm – it may seem like the storm is over, but after the eye passes, the winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force.
- Wait until an area is declared safe before returning home.
- Remember that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process.
- FEMA – Are You Ready? Guide
- National Weather Service Weather Safety
- Be a Force of Nature with NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation
- NWS Storm-Ready Sites & Communities
- Ready.gov Kids
- American Red Cross
“Hurricane Preparedness – Be Ready.” Hurricane Preparedness – Be Ready. National Weather Service, 02 June 2013. Web. 04 Oct. 2
Bernau, Alan, Jr. “Kid’s Guide to Building a Disaster Supply Kit.” Kid’s Guide to Building a Disaster Supply Kit. Alan’s Factory Outlet, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.