Hurricane preparedness: 5 things to keep in mind this season

May 24-30, 2015 marks hurricane preparedness week. To help those living in areas that may be impacted by hurricanes and their aftermaths, Coast Guard Compass shares the below information to help keep our coastal communities safe this summer! If you have any additional tips, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Although NOAA is predicting a below-normal hurricane season, there are still important things you should do to keep yourself prepared. NOAA image.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Although NOAA is predicting a below-normal hurricane season, there are still important things you should do to keep yourself prepared. NOAA image.

 

If you live along the Atlantic or Gulf coasts, you’ve probably already started to think about the summer weather – and that includes the upcoming hurricane season.

June 1 marks the beginning of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, and while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts that we’re only looking at a below-normal hurricane season, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t remain ready for the unexpected. In fact, even with this prediction, NOAA is predicting a 70-percent likelihood that there will be six to 11 named storms, of which half of those could become hurricanes. And while the predictions are pointing towards a below-normal season, there is still a 20 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.

Even with these predictions, one thing remains true – people should always prepare for the unexpected and make sure they are ready for each and every hurricane season.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind this hurricane season:

Prepare a kit: Ensure you and your family has a disaster kit ready to go in case of an emergency. You should always make sure these kits are assembled well in advance, as you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice. If you need more information on what should be included in this kit, check out Ready.gov’s preparedness tips.

Get to know your surroundings: Know the elevation of your house and property. Hurricanes often bring storm surge, which is normally considered the greatest threat to property and life during any tropical storm. Use NOAA’s storm surge graphic to check if your home could be subject to this possibility. In addition, get to know your communities evacuation routes. Know how you would evacuate and get to higher ground.

NOAA has created graphics that help map what storm surge will look like following tropical storms and hurricanes. In the event of a storm, click the photo above to see what the potential storm surge areas will be.

NOAA has created graphics that help map what storm surge will look like following tropical storms and hurricanes. In the event of a storm, click the photo above to see what the potential storm surge areas will be.

Check the weather: The new Coast Guard mobile app for boating safety is a great way to quickly and easily check marine weather from your phone. With it, you can check the weather at nearby NOAA buoys, which can give you wind speed and directions along with wave height. If you’re a boater, make sure you check the weather each and every time you head out and continue to monitor it throughout your time on the water.

Secure your boats: If you live on the water and have boats, hurricanes can pose an additional threat. Review the hurricane plan with your local marina, and ensure you have a plan to either bring your boat in and strap it down ashore, or ensure it is properly equipped to ride out the storm at the marina.

Listen to local officials: If told to evacuate, do so immediately. You should consider evacuating if you live in a mobile home, high-rise building or near bodies of water. Community organizations like the American Red Cross will often set up shelters for evacuees.

Join the Coast Guard in being ‘Semper Paratus – Always Ready’ and ensure you are prepared for the 2015 hurricane season!

For more information on hurricane preparedness, follow Ready.gov, NOAA and #HurricanePrep on Twitter!

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