Tips for National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2021

Adobe Stock

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins this week and the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, while May 9-15 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week for 2021…Here are some tips for staying safe.

What to expect for Atlantic hurricane season 2021

Most meteorologists are forecasting another above-average Atlantic hurricane season for 2021, although not record-breaking as last year was.

In April, meteorologists from the Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project, predicted a total of 17 named storms for 2021, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).

Hurricane preparedness essentials

The foremost things to be prepared for are power outages and potential water and/or food shortages.

1. Water, food, medications, blankets

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. At a minimum, have one gallon of water per person (and pet) per day. Also, make sure you have a blanket for every member of your family.

2. Communications

Make sure you have a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries for these items, and a battery-powered backup charger for your phone, as well as candles and/or other types of lighting. Make sure your weather radio can run on batteries or be powered by a hand crank.

Make sure you have a way of communicating with all of your family members at all times. If you don’t have a cell phone, get one now. There are many low-cost deals, with no money upfront, and many will even provide you with a new android phone free.

3. Prepare your home

Prepare your home to withstand extreme weather. Protect windows and secure any items that could be blown away.

4. Evacuation plan

Most importantly, 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. Don’t wait until the last minute to leave. Evacuation routes are likely to be crowded. Make sure you have a way to communicate in case you get separated.

5. Additional resources

Lastly, be sure to 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.

To get additional information about how to be prepared for severe weather, visit these US government websites for articles on preparedness at:

Preparedness beyond your hurricane kit

Besides having a basic hurricane kit prepared there are other considerations. One is to try to keep your vehicle topped up with fuel at all times. This is especially important in lieu of the recent cyber attack on a major fuel pipeline which is sending fuel prices soaring as supplies are limited. During a hurricane, fuel supplies could run out quickly or pumps could be out of service due to power outages.

The second important consideration is to keep enough cash on hand. Power outages could render card purchasing systems unavailable making cash payments the only option.