Hurricane Preparedness Week: Tips and resources to make sure you're ready

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The 2021 Pacific and Atlantic hurricane seasons are fast approaching, and that means it’s that time of year again--time for residents spanning from Texas to Florida to states along the East Coast to those in territories and nations in the Caribbean to Hawaii prepare for another potentially active season of tropical weather.

This week, May 9-15, is the National Weather Service-led initiative “Hurricane Preparedness Week,” a week devoted to promoting and educating those in relevant areas of all the ways in which to prepare for hurricane season.

Considering a large percentage of members and their families reside in areas susceptible to the effects of tropical weather events, hurricane preparedness is especially important to the 403rd Wing.

The NWS broke their preparedness procedures into seven themes: Determine Your Risk, Develop an Evacuation Plan, Assemble Disaster Supplies, Get an Insurance Checkup, Strengthen Your Home, Help Your Neighbor, Complete a Written Plan.

1. Determine Your Risk:

Hurricanes can cause a number of different hazards including storm surge, inland flooding, rip currents, strong winds and even tornadoes. It’s important to be cognizant of relative risks in order to fortify property and plan evacuations accordingly.

Two helpful resources are the national storm surge map and the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood map.

2. Develop an Evacuation Plan:

Do you live in an evacuation zone? You can check here.

The NWS recommends planning several different routes to account for different directions a storm could go. Also, have a go bag ready throughout the season, heed mandatory evacuations, and have a plan for pets.

3. Assemble Disaster Supplies:

Due to the sometimes unpredictability of how long power will be out or roads will be inaccessible, it’s important to be geared up. For each person in a household, there should be at least three days’ worth of food and water. Other items to consider are prescriptions/medicines, gas, cash, batteries, phone chargers and a radio.

For info on how to program your weather radio click here.

For a comprehensive list of items to consider including in your readiness kit click here.

4. Get an Insurance Checkup:

Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage, so it is important to review your policy and assess your risk as before mentioned to determine if flood insurance is necessary. In the event that you evacuate, make sure to bring your insurance documents along with you.

5. Strengthen Your Home:

There are ways to prepare a home one can take long before, as well as in the event of, a hurricane hits. More long-term preparations consist of making sure the home is in good repair and compliant with local hurricane building code specifications and having either plywood or steel or aluminum panels at the ready.

If/when a hurricane nears, it’s important to make sure any outdoor furniture, play equipment, etc. is either removed or secured. Make sure doors are locked. Trim trees near the home, especially remove any dead foliage, and move any vehicles to secure areas.

6. Help Your Neighbor:

This step is self-explanatory. Make sure your neighbor is informed. Help them prepare, evacuate, and check in on them after a storm.

7. Complete a Written Plan:

Forgetting an item at the grocery store--while inconvenient--is generally inconsequential, but still, to avoid that inconvenience, most people make shopping lists. The same goes for hurricane preparedness, though a lot more consequential. The best way to make sure you’ve done everything necessary to prepare for a hurricane is to make a list.

Here is a step-by-step guide that walks you through all of the factors to consider for your written plan.

While these seven themes are important and cover a wide range of preparedness procedures, there is always more to know. Remember it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Below are links to more resources for hurricane preparedness to ensure you and your family’s safety.

More resources: