**This article was originally published on June 1, 2016, and updated on Nov 17, 2020.
It’s no doubt this hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30. 2020 has been bumpier-than-usual. And while it’s almost over, let’s continue to plan to ensure our safety. Here are some tips for hurricane preparedness:
1. Download the Red Cross Emergency App.
This app provides expert advice on what to do before, during, and after hurricanes and other disasters. It also gives instant access to 35 customizable weather alerts, safety tips, and preparedness information for 14 different emergencies, all in one free and easy to use app. Red Cross apps can be found in your app store by searching for American Red Cross. Red Cross Emergency App
2. Learn the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning.
A Hurricane Watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s then time to review and update your hurricane plan. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed. On the other hand, a Hurricane Warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s then time to complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
3. Build an emergency kit.
One of the most important hurricane preparedness tips we have is to build an emergency kit. Stock your emergency supply kit with basic survival items. You’ll want to have a 2-week supply of water and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food for every family member and pet. If you evacuate, you’ll want a 3-day supply of the same. Other items to add to your supply kit include:
- Manual can opener
- Essential medicines including eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, toothbrush, and toothpaste
- Change of clothing
- Paper towels, hand sanitizer, and eating utensils
- First-aid kit
- Battery-powered flashlight and radio with extra batteries
- Blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags
- Mosquito repellant and citronella candles
- 2 coolers—one for food, one for ice
- Plastic tarp for roof/window repairs and tools
- Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members Have an established evacuation plan to reduce stress.
- Important documents like Driver’s license or personal IDs, Social security cards, or Insurance policies (home, auto, flood, wind)
4. Create an evacuation plan for your family.
Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event. Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs, and make plans for your pets to be cared for. Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
5. Prepare Your Home For An Evacuation
Preparing your home for a hurricane can, in some instances, minimize the amount of damage your home ungoes. Disconnect all electrical equipment and appliances, including personal computers. Place all valuables, including records, documents, small office equipment, and loose items in desks, cabinets, or boxes and move to an interior office if possible. Store loose paper, books, wastebaskets, desk items, and other important items in locked cabinets if possible. Upon returning to your home, report all leaks, exposed wiring, and damage to the Property Manager immediately. Lastly, don’t take unnecessary risks if your home does take damage, like running back into a home that’s been destroyed for personal possessions. Things can be replaced, but people cannot.
6. Pay attention to the weather forecast and stay informed.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio (available on the Red Cross Store) for critical information from the national weather Service (NWS).
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