Hurricane Preparedness Month
Did you know that September is Hurricane Preparedness Month? There’s several steps you can take to prepare your home or building. Hurricane season begins on May 15 in the North Pacific and on June 1 in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and ends on November 30. It is forecasted, and is being proven, to be a very busy season in 2023.
What’s the difference between hurricane “watch” and “warning”?
A hurricane watch is when hurricane conditions are possible in an area. This means there’s sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. Watches are announced by experts about 48 hours before they expect tropical storm force winds to start.
A hurricane warning is more serious. This means stronger hurricane force winds are expected. This warning is usually issued 36 hours before tropical storm force winds are expected. This hopefully gives people enough time to prepare for the storm.
How to Prepare in Advance
Make a plan:
- Copy emergency phone numbers and keep them on your refrigerator or near the phone, as well as program them into family cell phones.
- Have an emergency supply kit.
- Locate nearest shelter and different routes to get there.
- If you have a pet, identify shelters that are pet friendly.
Have emergency supplies on hand. You can’t predict what type of damage can happen around you. Power and water could be cut off, damage could be done to your car or roads could be flooded or blocked off.
A few things to prepare are:
- Emergency food and water supply.
- Emergency medicine supply.
- Power sources, like flashlights.
- Important documents, like medical documents, passports, personal IDs, and wills.
How to Prepare if You Hear “Hurricane Watch” or “Hurricane Warning”
There are several things you need to get ready in this case. Your transportation, family and pets, home and evacuation plan if necessary.
- Fill your gas tank
- If possible, move vehicles undercover
- Keep emergency kit in vehicle
Family and pets:
- Get your prepared emergency plan and go over it together.
- Listen to the news, radio or continue to check for updates regarding the storm.
- Put pets and farm animals in a safe place.
- Clear your yard removing items that could blow around during a storm. Things like lawn and patio furniture, grills, bikes or toys.
- Use storm shutters to cover up windows and doors. If you don’t have these, nail pieces of plywood instead.
- Prepare to turn off your power. This is necessary if there is flooding, downed power lines or if you have to leave.
- Get drinking water readily available.
- Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector.
Evacuating or Staying Home?
Don’t ignore orders to evacuate. No matter how new, sturdy or well built your home or building may be, you never know what type of force a hurricane could bring. On the other hand, you could be ordered to stay home if driving conditions are too dangerous.
Have an open mind, plan and readiness for either situation.
Visit our website to view the active hurricane tracker.