Hurricane Season 2021: How to Be Prepared

People who live in at-risk areas should always be prepared for hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

There are different ways in which you can protect yourself and your home. In this article, you will find hurricane safety tips and learn how to come up with your own preparedness plan. This includes securing your home, storing your most valuable belongings safely, and stocking up on essentials.

Make Your Hurricane Preparedness Plan

Every household should have a hurricane preparedness plan ready. You can create your plan by following these steps:

  1. Review your home insurance policy — check that all your valuable possessions are covered for natural disasters such as a hurricane
  2. Know where to get hurricane alerts and information from and make sure to have different ways to receive real-time alerts
  3. Choose an evacuation route — your dear ones should know the route and where to find the local evacuation center too
  4. Secure your home — install storm shutters, secure loose exterior items such as bikes and plant pots, cut large trees.

You should discuss your hurricane plan with your family.

Hurricane Safety Checklist from Supplies Kit to IDs

Before a hurricane, you may need to purchase some items while making sure that essential belongings and valuables are safe. Find the relevant checklists below.

Items to include in your emergency supplies kit

To be prepared for a hurricane, you should have essential items on hand. Your disaster supplies kit should include the following items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (minimum 3-day supply of non-perishable food items)
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Battery-powered radio to listen to local updates
  • Whistle for attracting attention
  • Medication for at least 7 days
  • Blankets and warm/waterproof clothing
  • Well stocked first aid kit

Keep all items in waterproof containers and store securely. You must also keep your cell phone charged during hurricane season and have a spare battery and charger.

What documents to keep safe during hurricane season

Once the hurricane is gone, you do not want to have to replace all your IDs and other important documents. You should always make sure that your documents are safe also in case you need a form of identification at the local hospital or police station during the hurricane.

Here are some essential documents to secure before hurricane season:

  • Vital Records including marriage, divorce and birth certificate
  • Government-issued IDs like your passport and driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Tax returns
  • Property deeds and other proof of ownership
  • Living and last wills

Your birth certificate is particularly important because it represents essential evidence of identity and citizenship. For this reason, it can be used to order copies of nearly all the other documents mentioned above.

How to store your vital records safely

Vital records like your birth certificate should be stored safely at all times. You can keep them at home in a safe or secure them in a safe deposit box at your local bank or post office.

Although it may seem like a good idea to protect them from storms/extreme weather conditions, you should never laminate your birth certificate and other important documents. Official documents are printed on special paper and often present security features like embossed seals that would be lost during the lamination process. A laminated birth certificate is considered invalid for most legal purposes.

For the same reason, a photocopy of your birth certificate cannot be used in lieu of the original document. Moreover, be aware that photocopying someone else’s birth certificate is illegal in many states.

Hurricane season preparness plan

Who Should Prepare for Hurricane Season in the US?

Tropical storms like hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones are most common in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

The 10 US states where hurricanes hit the most are:

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. Louisiana
  4. North Carolina
  5. South Carolina
  6. Alabama
  7. Georgia
  8. Mississippi
  9. New York
  10. Virginia

In the United States, hurricane season runs from June to November. That is why National Hurricane Preparedness Week is often in May. However, hurricanes can form any time during the year and also outside the aforementioned geographical areas.

You should always check with local authorities to find out whether you live in an at-risk zone and you should prepare for a hurricane or other extreme weather event.

FAQ

What to do after a hurricane?

As well as being prepared for a hurricane or tropical storm to hit, you should also know what to do in the aftermath. Safety tips include staying out of floodwater, not using wet or damaged electrical devices, and taking care around damaged buildings.

Most importantly, you should follow the instructions given by local authorities.

What happens before a hurricane hits?

To know when to activate your preparedness plan, you should recognize the warning signs of a hurricane. These include strong winds and dark clouds. Scientists can usually predict a hurricane’s path around 3 to 5 days in advance so it’s important to stay tuned to local weather updates.

How to prepare for a hurricane while on holiday?

If you find yourself on holiday when an approaching hurricane is announced, here are the steps to follow to ensure your safety:

  • Stay calm
  • Find out the local evacuation route and shelters. Sign up for emergency alerts
  • Ask your hotel manager and/or at the local tourist information center for assistance and ask about the local evacuation plan
  • Let your family and dear ones know about your situation and safety plans
  • Pack your communications and emergency kit
  • Follow the instructions given by local authorities