Summer started and brought with it the beginning of another hurricane season. So now it’s time to prepare and review your plans for hurricanes and tropical storms.  The hurricane season starts June 1st and ends November 1st.  The key to any plans for an emergency situation is preparedness and then acting on those plans when notified to do so by emergency services.

Here are 5 top tips for planning and preparing for a hurricane:

  1. Make a plan. Create a plan that makes sense for you, how to leave your home safely, how to keep in touch with family. What is the best way for you and family to stay safe? When making this plan, keep in mind, normal ways of communicating may be unavailable.
  2. Have a list of emergency services in your area. Make sure you are signed up for emergency alerts via text message and email, just in case one way goes down. Keep this list on your phone, computer and even a laminated paper in your emergency kits.
  3. Stock your emergency kit. There are many different lists (we like this one from the National Hurricane Center) and different supplies you can gather.  Most say to have food and water for everyone to last 3 days. Include flashlights and a battery operated radio, and go get extra batteries. Consider the unique needs of your family, any medications, etc.
  4. Prepare your property. As part of your plan, you should make sure to prepare your property. Be prepared to turn off water and power if you need to. Board up windows.
  5. Work with your neighbors. Set an evening before there are any storms and work out a neighborhood plan.  Help with elderly neighbors, families with small children and what pets are in the area. A strong community where everyone works together helps stay safe and sane.

It is invaluable to prepare now and get supplies in place before you need to use them. Knowing where you can receive medical and emergency services should be marked on maps. Don’t forget to check your insurance policy and have your insurance numbers on your list.

Planning and preparing for a hurricane before the hurricane is close can be the difference between life or death.  Know what, who and how to keep you, your family and your home safe.