Must-dos to improve your hurricane safety

Hurricane season begins June 1. Here’s what you need to know about hurricane safety preparations.

From federal agencies to local emergency response teams, lots of people work to improve hurricane safety response when a storm is possible. What can you do to prepare for hurricane safety well in advance? Make a hurricane evacuation plan, put together a hurricane evacuation kit and more.

From federal agencies to local emergency response teams, lots of people work to improve hurricane safety response when a storm is possible. What can you do to prepare for hurricane safety well in advance? Make a hurricane evacuation plan, put together a hurricane evacuation kit and more.

EVACUATE OR STAY?

Voluntary vs. mandatory: The two forms of evacuation orders

Heed the voluntary evacuation if you live in a flood-prone area, a mobile home or a structurally unstable building, or if you are traveling with young children, elderly family members or people with special needs.

During a mandatory evacuation you must, by law, leave. Use identified evacuation routes even if traffic is bad; alternative routes may be closed.

Evacuation formula

It’s how officials determine who should leave first. Generally, they are areas and populations most susceptible to flooding and severe damage.

An order to stay

If leaving may lead to gridlock and danger for people trapped in cars, officials may determine it’s safer to stay.

PLAN AHEAD

10 must-haves in your hurricane evacuation kit:

  • Drinkable water
  • Sealed prepared meals
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medications in sealed containers
  • Waterproof, battery-powered or hand-crank-powered flashlights and radios
  • A whistle or other sound-signaling device
  • A multi-tool with a knife
  • Identification and medical cards
  • Any necessary medical records
  • Waterproof bags or containers

Two meetup points

Decide in advance where you will go but add an alternative destination too.

Gas & cash

When a storm threatens, keep your gas tank full and withdraw cash. Power outages make pumps and ATMs unusable.

If you leave

Plan to pack and not stop unless traffic necessitates it. Stopping for food or drinks may significantly delay you.

Protect your pets

Bring water and food for your pets as well as veterinarian records and proof of vaccinations. Be sure your destination is pet-friendly.

DID YOU KNOW?

June through November: The official Atlantic hurricane season.

September: The most common month for hurricanes.

Hurricane Katrina: The costliest U.S. hurricane, at $125 billion in damages.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or flooding, talk to your insurance agent about flood insurance and know what’s covered.


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