Ahhhh… hurricane season! Yes, it is already that time of the year again, and if you live in a hurricane-prone area, you are likely starting to prepare. The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins in June but is typically rather quiet throughout July. However, the southeastern U.S. coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the western Caribbean Sea are the breeding grounds for tropical cyclones during June. These early season storms also typically start out closer to land – increasing the chance of impacts along the U.S. Gulf and Southeast coasts, as well as parts of the Caribbean. With that in mind, it is never too early to be prepared.
Let’s also take a moment to review last year’s unlikely tropical weather recipients! Many in-land parts of North Carolina experienced devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. This is an unfortunate example of why even if you are not located in a tropical climate, you should still take several steps to prepare yourself in the event a storm does affect your area. The question now is, whether you are coastal or inland, what should you do to begin your preparations?
For “Part 1” of our Hurricane Season Blog Edit, we are outlining what you should be doing NOW that hurricane season has begun. Stay tuned for the continuation of this edit to learn what you need to do when a storm is predicted to make landfall within your area.
Here are the June 2019 “Do Nows”:
- Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
- Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter.
- Discover your in-home best protection such as a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
- Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
- Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
- Gather needed supplies for at least three days for each person & pet within your household. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication.
- Don’t forget the needs of pets! If you need to evacuate, what is the plan for your pet?
- Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property by decluttering drains and gutters, installing check valves in plumbing to prevent backups, installing hurricane shutters.
- Review insurance policies.
Keep in mind, these are just the basics for hurricane season preparedness. Up next, we will share what actions needed to further prepare when a storm is threatening landfall.
Dolce, C. (2019, June 1). Hurricane Season is Now Underway. Here’s What Typically Happens Early in the Season. Retrieved June 13, 2019, from https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2019-05-30-hurricane-season-start-june-1-early-season-june-july
READY.GOV. (2019). Hurricanes. Retrieved June 13, 2019, from https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes