May 9-15 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week for 2021. This week kicks off the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, while the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1. Here are a half-dozen crucial tips for keeping your family safe.
Meteorologists are forecasting that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will bring above-average activity, though not at the record-breaking we saw in 2020.
Meteorologists from the Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project released their annual pre-season forecast in April. They predicted 2021 to bring a total of 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes, with 4 of them being at category 3 or higher.
The key elements for being prepared in the midst of severe weather and hurricanes are to make sure you have plenty of food and water, as well as to be prepared for power outages.
Make sure you have at least a 3-day supply of food and water for you, your family and your pets. Have a first aid kit that also includes prescription medications for family members and pets. A basic rule-of-thumb is one gallon of water per person (and pet) per day.
One thing you need to plan for our power outages. Make sure you have a weather radio that can be operated on batteries and/or by hand crank to keep informed of weather conditions and potential flooding. Make sure to have one or more flashlights, as well as candles and/or other types of lighting. Also keep a supply of extra batteries for these items and a battery-powered backup charger for your cell phone.
Make sure you have a way of communicating with the outside world and with all of your family members at all times. The best way is to make sure every member of your family has cell phone. There are many family plans available and some that will also provide free phones for every member of your family.
One of the biggest threats during extreme weather is potential damage to your home. Protect windows and secure any items that could be blown away.
Extreme weather or hurricanes could bring flooding or damage that forces you to evacuate from your home. It’s crucial to have an evacuation plan. Know how, when and where you and your family need to go in case of an emergency that forces you to leave your home. Never wait until the last minute to leave. Plan for several alternate evacuation routes as the most-used routes are likely to be crowded. Make sure you have a way to communicate in case you get separated.
Review this hurricane preparation guide from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to know everything you need to prepare and do before the storm strikes.
For additional information about how to be prepared for severe weather, visit these US government websites for articles on preparedness at:
Besides doing all of the aforementioned preparedness steps, such as having a basic hurricane kit with food, water and medications prepared there are other considerations.
Gasoline: Keep your vehicle topped up with fuel at all times. Currently, a major fuel pipeline in the US is shut down causing gasoline shortages. Such shortages could occur during severe weather or a hurricane. Fuel supplies could run out quickly or pumps could be out of service due to power outages.
Cash: Make sure to keep enough cash on hand. Power outages could render card purchasing systems nonoperational making cash payments the only option.