If New Yorkers learned anything from Hurricane Sandy last fall, it’s the importance of organizing all essential items and being prepared. Getting organized before a hurricane threatens is the key to being prepared. And while the storms are often associated with late summer and early fall, hurricane season officially began on June 1. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting a hurricane season of above-average activity, with 13-20 named storms, 7-11 of which could reach hurricane strength.
Fortunately, hurricane prediction has improved greatly in recent years, giving coastal residents time to organize and prepare for storms. There are a number of simple steps you can take now that can make final preparations for an impending storm go much more smoothly.
Know the risk. Assess your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. And be sure that you understand the meaning National Weather Service watches and warnings.
Keep a list of contact information for ready reference:
- Local Emergency Management Office
- County Law Enforcement
- County Public Safety Fire/Rescue
- State, County and City/Town Government
- Local Hospitals
- Local Utilities
- Local American Red Cross
- Local TV Stations
- Local Radio Stations
- Your Property Insurance Agent
Put together a basic disaster supplies kit, or update the items that may have expired in your existing kit.
Have a family emergency plan so that everyone knows what to do in case of a storm or other disaster.
Create a workplace disaster plan for your business or check that your current plan is up-to-date.
Know what to do if you need to evacuate. Being organized and prepared ahead of time can make hurricane evacuation go much more smoothly, getting your family to safety more quickly.