May 1 kicks off Hurricane Preparedness Week. Sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) before the June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season, the week raises awareness of the hazards posed by hurricanes.
FEMA and NOAA continue their partnership to urge anyone living along coastal areas as well as inland communities to take steps to be better prepared.
You can help increase awareness and motivate your friends, families, and communities to get prepared and stay informed before hurricane season:
Determine your risk
- Hurricanes don’t just affect coastal communities. These powerful storms can bring wind and flooding to areas far inland so it’s important to determine your risk.
- Take some time to learn what hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing now for how to handle them. Your local or state emergency management agency can be a great resource to help you stay informed before, during and after a disaster. Search online to find your local emergency management agency to learn more or visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov to find your state’s emergency management contact information.
- It’s also a good idea to sign up for local alerts and download the free FEMA app available in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
Develop an Evacuation Plan
- If you’re in a hurricane prone area, you need know your hurricane evacuation zone and if your home would be unsafe during a hurricane. If the answer is yes, develop an evacuation plan to figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate.
- If local officials ask you to evacuate, that means your pet should evacuate too. If you leave your pets behind, they may end up lost, injured or worse. Because emergency shelters and hotels may not allow you to bring them, know a safe place you can take your pets before a disaster or emergency. Learn more about how to prepare your pets for disasters.
Assemble Disaster Supplies
- After a hurricane, your area may be without power and water for days or weeks. If you don’t evacuate, you’re going to need enough non-perishable food, water and medicine for your family and pets. Learn how to assemble disaster supplies to meet the specific needs of every member of your family.
Get an Insurance Check-up
- When is the last time you had an insurance check-up? Call your insurance company or agent to make sure you have enough homeowner’s insurance to repair or even replace your home, car or other property. Remember, standard homeowners and renters insurance doesn’t cover flooding. You can get flood coverage from your insurance company or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov. Act now, as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
Strengthen Your Home
- Whether you evacuate or shelter in place, make sure your home is ready to withstand the wind, rain and flooding a hurricane can bring. Check to see if your home is up to building code specifications and consider retrofits, many of which are not as costly or time consuming as you may think.
- If you’re a renter, work with your landlord now to prepare your home for a storm.
Help Your Neighbor
- Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Talk with your neighbors to discuss how you can help one another after a disaster. This Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategy encourages individuals to get involved in their communities. Note, you may need to adjust your preparedness plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
Complete A Written Plan
- The time to prepare for a hurricane is now. Planning can help identify your family’s unique needs and understand what you need to do to protect those you love from an emergency or disaster. Write down your hurricane plan and make sure everyone in your household knows and understands it.
Spread the word! FEMA’s Ready Campaign Hurricane Season Preparedness Digital Toolkit includes resources you can use to share vital information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane.