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Staying Safe and Preparing For Hurricane Season

Hurricane Irma (NWS FILE)

The Insurance Information Institute (iii) reports that the east coast’s official hurricane season is from June through November. Centuries of data show that storms outside of the season are possible, but September is the most common month for hurricanes on the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

Typically, there are 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes every year, but the tropical storms don’t always affect the east coast the same.

Although weather experts have the skills and tools to keep us informed as best as possible, it can be challenging to know when or if a hurricane will affect the east coast. The thought of a hurricane and its potential destruction can be scary. The best way to handle a potential hurricane is to do your best to prepare.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Start Preparing During “Off Season”

The best time to prepare for a hurricane is during the “off-season” when you’re not scrambling to purchase supplies and compete with the crowds. Early preparation allows you time to create a backup plan, make digital copies of important documents, review insurance plans, and invest in making your home more hurricane-proof (such as shutters).

Remember, it’s never too early to start planning for a storm since we can never be quite sure when it’s going to happen.

Take Hurricane Warnings Seriously

Whether you’re visiting the east coast during hurricane season or are a resident, you should always take a hurricane warning seriously. You don’t have to live right near to the coastline to be affected by a hurricane. People who are located 100 miles inland often encounter storms.

If the area in which you are located is under a hurricane warning, it’s crucial to find safe shelter right away. For some people, this is staying in their homes and going to an interior room to protect themselves from high winds. Others drive further away from the storm and to an area that’s not under a warning.

The choice is ultimately yours, but it’s essential to stay in a place that offers protection from strong winds and potential flooding.

Do’s and Don’ts When Preparing for a Hurricane

  • Don’t forget to make your home and property safe to reduce the risk of someone being injured on your property during a storm.
  • Do secure loose items in your yard and board up your windows if you’re under a hurricane warning.
  • Don’t go out and walk or drive around when there’s high wind, flooding, or rain.
  • Do check in on your friends, family, and neighbors. Contact out of state relatives or friends to tell them your plans, just in case something happens.
  • Don’t stock up on too much perishable food if there’s no hurricane warning.
  • Do stock up on water and other essentials that don’t expire quickly.
  • Don’t leave your pets behind. Have a plan for them, too.
  • Do practice your emergency plan with your family, so they can stay calm and feel prepared if you need to put your plan into action.
  • Don’t return home until it’s safe to do so after a hurricane.
  • Do have an emergency kit ready, which includes first-aid supplies.

Get Connected With Your Community and Stay Informed

It’s important to remember that hurricanes take days to move to the U.S. coast if they will at all. Due to modern technology, we’re able to stay informed and up-to-date, which can help save lives.