The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1. Now is the time to prepare your home and family for the effects of severe weather. While the season doesn’t peak in New England until August and September, storms are certainly possible between the start of the season and November 30, when hurricane season officially ends. Preparing now will have you ready not only for hurricanes, but for other emergencies that can happen throughout the year.
From the February 2013 blizzard, to Hurricane Sandy, the October snowstorm of 2011 and Hurricane Irene, we have seen weather disrupt our daily lives and cause serious property damage.
Some of these storms brought storm surges to coastal areas or downed trees. In several cases, prolonged power outages affected many communities. So take a few minutes to think about the impacts you faced at home or at work and consider how you can make yourself more resilient in the face of future storms.
Planning now will help you better cope with emergencies. The American Red Cross has information and tools to help you prepare. Most tasks are simple and can be broken down into smaller steps that won’t be a burden. Start with the three most basic building blocks – a kit, a plan and knowledge about the risks in your community:
- Create an emergency preparedness kit with food and water, and other basic supplies for each family member to last at least three days. Remember to include essential medications, copies of important documents and special items for children and pets.
- Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you have to evacuate. Coordinate with your child’s school, your work and community’s emergency plans. Get free checklists and downloadable tips at org/preparednessfastfacts.
- Be informed about what disasters or emergencies may occur where you live, work, play and pray, and how to respond as safely as possible. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information.
- Download free Red Cross apps for your smart phone. Our Emergency and First Aid apps put preparedness and safety information in the palm of your hand before, during and after emergencies. Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Visit org/mobileapps for more information and download links.
- Prepare your business with the Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program to prepare your business. It’s a free, web-based program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools to become better prepared. Visit readyrating.org for more information and self-assessment tools.
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane or other disaster. A few simple steps now will pay big dividends when the next storm hits.