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Hurricane Preparedness Week: Be ready for hurricane season

It only takes one storm to change your life and community. Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Atlantic Hurricane Season is almost here.

NOAA will announce its initial outlook for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season during a national media briefing on May 20 at 12:30 p.m. ET. Forecasters expected another active season and, as always, the time is now to get ready for the months ahead.

The week of May 9 through May 15 is designated as Hurricane Preparedness Week to raise awareness to make sure everyone has their plans in place if a storm were to threaten the area. Each day has a different theme to help walk you through the steps of preparedness.

SUNDAY, MAY 9: The threats from hurricanes to you and your family can vary widely depending on where you live. It’s not just those along the coast that can experience significant, life-threatening impacts. Evaluate what you need to do to protect your home and family NOW, before the first storm of the season even forms.

MONDAY, MAY 10: Take some time this week - Hurricane Preparedness Week - to make sure you have a hurricane evacuation plan. The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or unsafe home, and coordinate with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing for you and those you care about.

TUESDAY, MAY 11: Just having enough supplies to make it through a hurricane isn’t enough. You need plenty to make it through what could be a LONG recovery period too. Water and electricity could be out for a week or more. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family for a MINIMUM of three days. Also make sure you have extra cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and a portable crank or solar powered USB charger to charge your cell phone.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12: This Hurricane Preparedness Week, call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home...and remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for flooding. floodsmart.gov. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.

THURSDAY, MAY 13: If you plan to ride out a hurricane in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand high winds.

FRIDAY, MAY 14: Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions your community can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes: ready.gov/neighbors

SATURDAY, MAY 15: The time to prepare for a hurricane is NOW, before the season begins. Once you’re under pressure, having a written plan will take the guesswork out of what you need to do to protect you and your family.

Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. You don’t want to be standing in long lines when a Hurricane Watch is issued. Those supplies that you need will probably be sold out by the time you reach the front of the line.

Being prepared now will mean the difference between your being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor.
ready.gov/make-a-plan