It's Hurricane Season!
Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30, 2021.
Hurricanes can be devastating and scary for you and your family. Be sure to watch the local news to know when a hurricane may be hitting your area!
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE: Below is a chart defining the different hurricane categories, ranging from least powerful to most powerful.
HURRICANE WATCH: A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds that can reach 74mph or higher.
HURRICANE WARNING: A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds that can reach 74 mph or higher.
A watch does not mean hurricane conditions will occur, only that these conditions are possible.
Below are tips that can help prepare your family in the event of a hurricane.
PREPARE: Follow these tips to help prepare you and your family for a hurricane.
Find a safe place in your home where you and your family can be kept safe during a storm. This should be a room in your home with no windows.
Gas: Make sure you get a tank (or 2) for your car/generator
Water: One gallon of water per person per day
Food: Get enough non-perishable food for at least 3 days but up to 7
Manual can opener and eating utensils
Medication: Have enough prescription medication for at least 7 days
Batteries and flashlights
Battery-powered radio or television available (with spare batteries)
Whistle (to signal for help if needed)
First Aid Kit
Infant formula/diapers (if needed)
Pet Food/Water (if needed)
Sleeping Bags/Warm Blankets
Books/Games/Activities for your kids
Bring anything that's outdoors inside such as chairs, tables and grills
Cover all large windows and doors
Tarps, duct tape, rope
If you or someone in your family has a special need that will make responding to an emergency difficult, enroll in your county’s Special Needs Registry. This can usually be found by searching “(your county) Special Needs Registry” in your preferred internet browser.
Prepare Your Mobile Device
Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers in your cell phone and in or near your home phone.
Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available for back-up power for your cell phone.
Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
Subscribe to text alert services from local or state governments to receive alerts in the event of a disaster. Parents should sign up for their school district emergency alert system as well.
Creating a social story for your kid(s):
A social story about hurricane season can be effective for your kids. This can better help them understand a hurricane, why it's happening, and what to do to prepare.
Consider creating a social story for/with your family and be sure to list what they can do before, during, and after a hurricane.
COMMUNICATING WITH EMERGENCY SERVICES, FAMILY AND FRIENDS
If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.
For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program.
Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage), and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts.
Tune into broadcast television and radio for important news alerts. If applicable, be sure that you know how to activate the closed captioning or video description on your television.
If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or “tweet” without a hands free device while driving.
Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games. All of these can add to network congestion, and limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
Check Ready.gov regularly to find other helpful tips for preparing for disasters and other emergencies.
In the event you and your family need to evacuate, follow these helpful tips to better prepare:
Stay alert to your current weather conditions in your area.
Fill your car with gas.
Map out your route.
Bring your disaster supply kit.
Secure your home before leaving.
Notify family and friends of your plan.
Know where your local shelters are.
If registered with Special Needs Registry, let them know your plan.
DURING A HURRICANE:
ALWAYS stay indoors during a hurricane!
Stay away from flood prone areas and windows.
AFTER A HURRICANE:
Do not go outside until it is safe to do so.
Watch out for flooding. Do NOT attempt to drive if your roads are flooded.
Do not drink tap water until officials say it's safe to do so.
Notify friends and family of your safety.
USING A GENERATOR:
If using a generator remember these important safety tips:
Do not place generators inside of any structure including garages, carports, and sheds.
Place the generator at least 20 feet away from your home, down-wind away from open doors, windows, and vents.
Before refueling, turn the generator off and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
Use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators.
Do not use in rain or wet conditions.
Have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Have a carbon monoxide monitor for your home.