You can never be over-prepared for the possibility of a disaster to strike. It’s officially the start of Atlantic hurricane season (June 1-November 30) and the time to start planning is now. It’s not a good idea to wait until there is an actual threat to start preparing and gathering supplies. In the event a hurricane is on its way, there may be only a few days to prepare and in many cases, this is not enough time to gather the essential items you need. The NOAA is predicting a busy hurricane season this year and because of COVID-19, you may need to adjust your preparedness based on the CDC and local officials, but not to worry, we’ll guide you through the basics.
Create an emergency communication plan
Write down contact information like phone numbers and email addresses for everyone in your household and other contacts such as extended family, co-workers, and friends. In the event you don’t have access to your cell phone, having contact information written down will help you when you get the chance to reconnect with others.
School, childcare, and workplace emergency plans
Make sure everyone in your family is signed up for alerts and/or emails for updates and warnings about school, work, and local government agencies (police, fire station, public health service, etc.). This will give you an additional way to access important and timely information.
Other important contact information
Keep contact information for emergency services, medical providers, veterinarians, utilities, and your insurance provider. For more resources, take a look at FEMA’s official emergency communication plan.
Gather essential emergency supplies
Following an emergency situation, you may need to be able to survive on your own for a few days. To be accurately prepared means having enough food, water, and other supplies to last you at least three to five days. Creating a disaster supply kit will help you feel confident and prepared should an emergency situation arise.
Here are some basic items to keep in your emergency kit:
Water, one gallon per person per day for at a minimum of three days
A three day supply of non-perishable food
A battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
First aid kit
Flashlight and extra batteries
Can opener for food
Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Prescription medications and glasses
For a full list of all recommended items check the official FEMA site here.
Since you won’t know where you’ll be when an emergency hits, keep supplies in a cool space in your house, at your job, and in your car.
Don’t forget about your pets, prep for them also
If you are a pet owner, you’ll need to bring emergency items for them as well. Make sure you have a crate or carrier that can comfortably fit them along with their leash and harness. You’ll also need to have fresh water, food, and serving bowls, you’ll want to have around a 5 day supply.
Make sure all your pet’s tags are up to date with your current contact information in case they get loose. Many animals become stressed with inclement weather and can potentially run off if scared. If your pet takes any medications you’ll need to bring those along as well (heartworm, flea meds, etc.) while keeping track of their current medication schedule.
In the event you have to leave your home, call around to see which local evacuation shelters or hotels allow pets. Whatever you do, do not leave your pet behind. Remember, if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet. They could potentially get trapped or exposed to many hazards if left unattended.
Covid-19- related hurricane risks
In May, FEMA released a guide to help emergency managers and public health officials prepare for disasters while still responding to the Coronavirus. This guide talks about possible challenges to disaster response posed by COVID-19 and outlines how FEMA anticipates responding to these challenging times. Make sure to keep up with recommendations from local health officials and the CDC to stay up to date with relevant information.What have you and your family done so far to prepare for hurricane season? Let us know in the comments below! Looking to start your journey towards a new home? Start your search with us!