Hurricane season begins June 1: Are you ready?

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2022

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Hurricane season is less than a month away with a start date of June. 1.

For those along the Gulf Coast, the beginning of June marks a long five-month span when watching the weather is the most-used pastime.

There are some things that can be done now to make managing emergencies more manageable once a storm forms in the Atlantic.

One thing to complete before the season starts, is to make sure you have a way to get warnings and updates on potentially severe weather including hurricanes, tropical storms and tornadoes. One way to stay in-the-know is to download an app to your smartphone that will send out alerts based on your location. One such app is RedZone Weather. The RedZone Weather app, which is free to download, includes:  Customized RedZone Weather notifications, so you can opt-in to what you want to know about concerning our local weather or events. The best part is you get to pick what notifications you want to receive.

Make a plan now on how severe the storm has to be before you and your family decide to evacuate. Hurricanes aren’t just coastal events, inland areas can be hit hard by hurricane force winds following landfall. Just remember back to Hurricane Ivan: that storm left residents well inland in Alabama without power, water and other services for weeks following the storms path through the area.

To avoid having additional stress during and after a storm, there are certain things to plan for before the storm season begins.

Make a Plan — Whether you’re evacuating or sheltering-in-place, you’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of 3 days (store a longer than 3-day supply of water, if possible). Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash (remember, ATMs use electricity, too), a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You may need a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones. Make sure to take stock of the items you may need to use that require batteries. Radios and flashlights often use different sizes. Make sure you have an ample supply of each size your devices require. If you have generators, getting a few containers of gasoline (in approved containers) on hand to run those in the event of a power outage.

Build a Survival Kit — In addition to the obvious things like food, water and medicines, there are other things to have at the ready in the event of disaster. Some of those items include:

  • Blankets, pillows etc.
  • Clothing — seasonal, rain gear/ sturdy shoes.
  • First Aid Kit — plus medicines, prescription drugs.
  • Special items — for babies and the elderly.
  • Toiletries — hygiene items, moisture wipes, sanitizer.
  • Flashlight and batteries.
  • Keys.
  • Toys, books, games
  • Pet care items, proper identification, immunization records, ample food and water, medicine, a carrier or cage, leash.

    Store important documents in a fire and water proof container.

    • Insurance papers
    • Medical records
    • Bank account numbers
    • Social Security cards
    • Deeds or mortgages
    • Birth and marriage certificates
    • Stocks and bonds
    • Recent tax returns
    • Wills