Hurricane Season is Here: Are You Prepared?
Tropical Storm Cristobal has given us a timely reminder of the 2020 Hurricane Season’s arrival. Starting June 1 and lasting through November 30, the long Season is best weathered when everyone has a Preparedness Plan in place.
“So how do I get a Plan? Where do I start?”
One place where there are a ton of resources available is from National sources like Ready.gov/hurricanes and the National Weather Service, as well as local options like City of Beaumont with specific details on Evacuation Routes, Assistance Resources, FAQs, and a lot more.
It can be overwhelming to looks at too much information at once, so here are some basic tips that can help you get started. Please remember to check National and Local resources periodically and keep your plans updated.
GET STARTED by talking with your family, friends, and neighbors about your area’s specific risks (for example, if you live in an area that frequently floods) and asking some basic preparedness questions:
What evacuation route is best? Will we shelter-in-place if there is an optional evacuation? For a mandatory evacuation, where is our out of town destination? Who is our non-local emergency contact? Do we need an Emergency Kit or a “Go” bag? What about our Pets?
As you answer these questions, you can write down your Plan or fill in a ready-made form such as those from FEMA here. Now is also a good time to think about how you can safeguard and protect vital papers (such as identity documents, medical records, and financial/legal forms).
One important thing to remember is to TALK through your plan with children ahead of time and PRACTICE the plan with your household.
If you can, assign certain family members a specific task. For example, have one person be responsible for the evacuation kit and another loading items into the vehicle. Assign these tasks in advance and periodically review them with each family member. Not only does this ensure the evacuation process goes smoothly, having specific tasks can help calm nerves during a stressful time.
Lastly, remember to keep advised of current CDC guidelines related to the COVID19 pandemic as these could affect your Hurricane Preparedness Plans. The CDC actually has some helpful information about preparing for Hurricane Season during this pandemic, to make things a bit easier.