ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands - The 2019 hurricane season begins June 1st through November 30th, with the peak occurring mid-August through late October. The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency urge Virgin Islanders to prepare themselves and their loved ones.
Taking time now to prepare by building a kit, making a plan and hardening your homes can reduce future anxiety.
Build a Kit. Consider the specific needs of your family, including the elderly and those with access and functional needs, to ensure you have supplies for the first 10 days following a disaster as they may have to shelter in place at home.
- Store one gallon of water, for drinking and sanitation, for each person per day.
- Include non-perishable foods for each person in the household paying particular attention to family members with special diets and allergies.
- Have hand sanitizer, antibiotic ointment, hygienic products, diapers and wipes available.
- Include a favorite toy, stuffed animal, books and activities for younger members of the family.
- Protect your important documents such as vital records, insurance policies, medical information, property and financial records.
- Make sure to have adequate food and water for your pet. Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with updated identification tags with the pet’s name, owner’s name, address and phone number.
Make a family communications plan. As roads may be impassable and cell phone service may be disrupted, identify alternate ways of staying in touch with loved ones.
- Choose an out of town friend or relative as a point of contact.
- Decide on a meeting place in case you cannot return home.
- Keep important documents and phone numbers with you at all times.
- Ensure children are included in preparedness conversations and make sure they have emergency contacts memorized or saved in a secure place.
Harden and Protect Your Property. Virgin Islanders should also take steps to protect their homes.
- Review home insurance policies to ensure proper coverage and take photos of property.
- Prepare to store anything from your property that could be picked up by hurricane winds and turned into a harmful object.
- Trim trees to remove dead limbs and secure rain gutters and downspouts.
- Make sure porches, decks or sheds are sound and firmly attached.
- Fasten down roofs with hurricane straps or clips and install strong bolts at the top and bottom of exterior doors. Buy or make storm shutters for windows.
For emergency, weather related, public safety and service disruption alerts on the Virgin Islands, sign up for Alert VI at https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736729008#/login.
FEMA’s mission is to support people before, during, and after disasters.