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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Safety

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

hurricane near north america The best way to ensure Atlantic hurricane season safety is by making sure that you know how to prepare for hurricanes in advance.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1st and ends November 30th. Storms can form any time of year, though, so it's always important to be prepared. During the active season, however, it's critical. Your and your family's safety relies on being prepared for a tropical storm or hurricane before it's even formed. And there is plenty you can do to be safe during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Prepare even if you're not in the direct path

Whether you're new to the area or you've simply never been in the direct path of the storm there, you always need to prepare for the season. Unlike tornadoes, tropical storms and hurricanes do form early and therefore allow time to prepare. But they're also unpredictable and can shift their projected path unexpectedly and quickly. Even if you think you're not in danger, it's a good idea to have everything ready just in case.

Stock up on food and water

This is often said, but it's usually when a storm is expected to or is approaching. However, once a storm is on the way, it may be too late. You might find that the items you need most are out of stock because everyone else needed them too. Instead, stock up early in the season (or even before) and do it slowly over a period of weeks. Remember you need at least a gallon of water per person per day, including pets. When it's especially hot or someone is pregnant, more water is better. Have enough food and water to last a minimum of three days up to at least two weeks.

Secure your home

Protecting your home is essential to your safety and that of everyone else who lives around you. Storm-force winds can pick up even heavy objects and carry them longer distances than you might think. Before a storm, go outside and move anything you usually leave outside indoors: patio furniture, umbrellas, children's toys, bikes, etc. Take down trampolines and swingset if possible. Put hurricane shutters or plywood over your windows and reinforce garage doors. If you can, strap or clip your roof to the home's structure. If there are repairs that need to be made to keep the house safe, get those repairs made before a storm is approaching.

Prep a "go bag" with essentials & non-replaceable items

Whether you plan to evacuate or plan to try to ride out the storm at home, you should prep a "go bag" with essentials and non-replaceable items. These would be things like:

  • prescription medications
  • insurance policies (and photos or videos of your home and contents)
  • legal documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage licenses, divorce & custody documents, medical records, etc.)
  • important family photos
  • clothing
  • treasured toys or mementos
  • backups of computer and tablet contents (and the devices themselves, when possible)

Prepare a "go bag" for every member of the family, including pets. This ensures that whether you evacuate as planned or need to go unexpectedly, you have the most important things along with your family.

Be prepared to evacuate

Many seasoned Atlantic area residents choose to stay in their homes and wait the storm out. They know the dangers and they're okay with them. But even when you think you want to ride it out at home, you should still be prepared to evacuate. A tropical storm or hurricane can change paths or intensity at a moment's notice. If your area sustains more damage than you expect, or your own home is damaged, you may need to get out immediately. Know the routes you can take, the locations of various shelters, and places you can stay outside the affected area.

Turn down the fridge & freezer

If the power goes out, your food will stay chilled for several hours - longer with a generator. If you turn down the temperature of your fridge and freezer, you can extend that time even more. While you have no control over when the power is restored, this gives you more time to use your grill or gas-operated cooking devices to cook and eat your refrigerated and frozen foods before they go bad. If you're evacuating, freeze a cup of water and put a quarter on top. When you return, if the quarter isn't still on top of the water, toss everything.

Fill your gas tank

As a rule, it's best to keep your gas tank as full as possible during hurricane season. As a storm approaches, many areas in its path will start to see fuel shortages that cause long lines and empty pumps. If your tank isn't full and you hear a storm is brewing, head to the gas station and fill up.

Carry cash

After the storm has passed, the power might be out for days or even weeks. But you'll start to need things again. And if the power is out, your debit and credit cards will be useless. So will your insurance cards. If you need food, water, medication, or a visit to the doctor, you'll need to pay cash. You might get reimbursed by your insurance later for medication or doctor visits, but you'll likely be required to pay up by the provider initially.

While the historic level of storm activity in 2020 is not expected to be repeated, 2021 is still forecast to be an above-average year. Safety is paramount and that requires preparation. Get ready now so you can be safe later.

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