Hurricanes are dangerous tropical storms that form in warm ocean basins. These giant storms follow a natural progression, build force and gain momentum as winds rotate around a central position. In the United States, hurricanes may affect any of the areas along the East Coast or the Gulf Coast, with states running from Texas up to Maine are susceptible to catastrophic damage. Hurricane season officially starts in May, but other parts of the country start in June, all ending in late November.
- The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30
- The Eastern North Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15-November 30
- The Central North Pacific hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30
Hurricanes are categorized by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is a 1 to 5 rating system based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed:
Have A Plan
Hurricanes are unique among natural disasters that technology can provide warning ahead of time, ranging from a few days to a week. Having a hurricane preparedness plan in advance is the best way to deal with these dangerous storm systems.
According to ready.gov, here are some ways to help be prepared if a hurricane is forecasted in your area:
- Know your Evacuation Zone – You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with family and pets, and identify where you will stay. To learn the risk for hurricane damage, you should call your local emergency management office or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- Make an Emergency Plan – Make sure everyone in your family knows and understands your hurricane plan.
- Gather Supplies – Have enough supplies for all family members and pets.
- Those with Disabilities – If you or anyone in your household is an individual with a disability, identify if you may need additional help during an emergency.
- Review Important Documents – Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents like ID’s are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password protected digital space.
- Strengthen Your Home – Declutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, consider hurricane shutters.
- Get Tech Ready – Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.
- Help your Neighborhood – Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others.
Food should consist of non-perishable items that require no refrigeration and little to no preparation or cooking. In addition, the food should not require you to use any water. It is recommended that you have enough food to last each family member anywhere from 5-days to 2 weeks. Food should be stored in a dry, cool area and remember to replace all expired items as needed, as well as update yearly based on any changes your family may need.
- Canned goods including fruit, vegetables, beans, pasta, meats, soup
- Canned milk and juice
- Dry cereal & oats
- Granola & nuts
- Energy bars
- Peanut butter
- Fruits that need no refrigeration such as bananas, apples & oranges
- Baby food or formula, & bottles
- Pet food
You will need at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. While most people will only need to drink 2-quarts of water per day, 2-quarts per person should be reserved for food preparation and washing. Store water in plastic bottles or containers that will not decompose or break.
Your first-aid kit should contain a variety of bandages, sterile dressings, and gauze. The kit should also include medical tape, latex gloves, antibacterial ointment, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, scissors, and tweezers. In addition, it is a good idea to stock your first-aid kit with non-prescription medications that may be needed, such as pain relievers likes aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives.
Clothing & Bedding
- Shoes or boots
- Sleeping bags or warm blankets for each family member
- Hats, gloves & warm coats
Tools & Other Items
- Copies of important documents like insurance policies, identification and bank account records (saved electronically or in a waterproof, sealable plastic bag)
- Pencil & paper
- Battery-operated radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries for each family member
- Fire extinguisher
- Waterproof matches & lighter
- Signal flares
- Thread & needle
- A basic set of tools; hammer, nails, screws, screwdriver, pliers & a knife
- Sanitation products; toilet paper, moist towelettes, etc.
- Garbage bags in a range of sizes
- Bug repellant
- Hand sanitizer (also keep in first-aid kit)
- Sealable plastic sandwich bags
- Plastic sheeting
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic cups, plates, & utensils for eating
- Manual can opener
- Paper towels
- Baby diapers, wipes & ointment
- Extra pet leash, collar with a up -to-date name tag, travel carrier, food & water bowls
- Small grill, with lighter fluid
- Duct tape
- Dish & hand soap
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
After A Hurricane
When the storm system has passed, authorities and local officials will allow you to safely return to your home. Upon returning home, be sure to keep the following in mind:
- During initial cleanup, be careful and take extra precautions such as wearing protective clothing, eyewear and gloves.
- To avoid electric shock, do not touch any wet electrical equipment or go near standing water as downed power lines may be underneath the water.
- Try to avoid flood water, as it may contain hazardous debris, chemicals, power lines and other potential dangers.
- Phones lines may be down or out of service after a hurricane. Unless an emergency, avoid making phone calls. Instead, use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends. Read our post on “How to Communicate During a Disaster.”
ALE Solutions is here 24/7/365 and ready to serve! We get to the impacted area within 24 hours of the catastrophic event, such as hurricanes. Our “Boots on the Ground” strategy allows us to secure properties and hotel rooms on a “first come, first served” basis. For more information on our Catastrophe Solutions, please visit alesolutions.com