It’s hurricane season, and we want to remind you that planning is the most important step to staying safe. It is important to begin planning early, particularly before the peak of the season in August and September. You don’t want to find yourself unprepared in an emergency situation.
The 2020 hurricane season is expected to be more active than average. Climatologists predict the season will bring 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. In an average year, there are 12 named storms.
There’s no guarantee where storms will make landfall or how intense they will be, so it’s important to make sure your family is prepared in the event a hurricane heads our way.
Make Your Emergency Kit Now
People tend to flock to grocery stores and clean off the shelves right before a storm. You can beat the crowds and make sure your family gets the essentials it needs by putting together an emergency kit now. Store these items in a bag or container that’s easy to grab in case you need to leave in a hurry.
- Water. Keep a three- to five-day supply of water in case you don’t have access to clean water after a hurricane. Plan on at least 1 gallon per person per day.
- Nonperishable food. Stock up on canned goods, peanut butter and other nonperishable foods that are safe to eat without cooking in case you have extended power outage. Don’t forget to include a manual can opener.
- Flashlights. Pack a battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries.
- Cellphone charger. Add a phone charger in case you have to evacuate in a hurry. Or, if you stay put, a solar- powered charger, portable crank charger or backup battery can help you stay connected if the power is out.
- First-aid kit. Keep first-aid supplies handy in case someone gets hurt.
- Sanitation supplies. Add cleaning supplies, garbage bags, moist towelettes and paper towels to help keep things clean if there’s no water.
- Cash. Without power, you won’t have access to the ATM, and many stores won’t be able to take your credit or debit card. Keep some cash on hand just in case.
- Important documents. Make copies of important papers, such as the deed to your home, insurance policy and birth certificate, and place them in a waterproof bag.
- Pet supplies. If you have pets, include a stash of food and medications for them.
- Kids’ entertainment. For children, include a small supply of coloring books, puzzles or toys that require no electricity. These can be a relief if you’re stuck at home without power or you have to evacuate.
Know Your Evacuation Route
Always follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders. Before a natural disaster, review evacuation routes for your area and plan a path that works best for your family.
Create an Emergency Communications List
Give everyone in your family a contact card that can be kept in a wallet, purse or backpack. It should list emergency and other important contacts. It’s not enough to keep these numbers in a cellphone that can become lost or damaged.
Decide how you will get in contact with each other during a disaster. Try designating an out-of-state contact as your communication hub. If disaster strikes, make sure everyone in your family knows to call this person to let them know they are safe.