The 2017 Hurricane Season was a season to remember, especially for those of us in Texas. With June 1st around the corner, everyone along the coastal United States needs to remember the 2017 and use lessons learned to prepare for the 2018 season. To help, the National Weather Service (NWS) has designated May 6 through May 12 as National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
Please join me in helping the NWS spread the word on Social Media throughout the week. NWS has made it event easier. Each day visit https://www.weather.gov/wrn/2018-social-media-hpw to copy and paste their daily updates to Facebook and Twitter.
Here is the daily themes for the week as presented by the NWS.
Sunday, May 6th – Determine Your Risk
Find out what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing now for how to handle them. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Their impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland, and significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane.
Monday, May 7th – Develop an Evacuation Plan
The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in a zone or unsafe home, and work it out with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing for you and those you care about.
Tuesday, May 8th – Assemble Disaster Supplies
You’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of one week. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Many of us have cell phones, and they all run on batteries. You’re going to need a portable, crank or solar powered USB charger.
Wednesday, May 9th – Get an Insurance Checkup
Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Don’t forget coverage for your car or boat. Remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for it, and it’s available through your company, agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
Thursday, May 10th – Strengthen Your Home
If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many of these retrofits do not cost much or take as long to do as you may think. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.
Friday, May 11th – Help Your Neighbor
Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes. Start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies.
Saturday, May 12th – Complete a Written Plan
The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins, when you have the time and are not under pressure. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under duress and will make the wrong decisions. Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. You don’t want to be standing in long lines when a hurricane warning is issued. Those supplies that you need will probably be sold out by the time you reach the front of the line. Being prepared, before a hurricane threatens, makes you resilient to the hurricane impacts of wind and water. It will mean the difference between your being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor.
Hurricane Preparation and response does not stop May 12th. Stay update to speed by visiting this site as well as all the links shared above.