Hurricane season begins in June

Many of the counties located in the coastal states maintain Offices of Emergency Management that are responsible for developing plans for being prepared, reducing damage and recovering from the effects of a storm. A major part of the preparedness plans requires that these departments create community awareness of the key principles of a sound process.

A sound process includes:

Creating An Emergency Plan

  • One of the most important components of an Emergency Plan is a family communications plan since it’s quite possible you may not be together when the storm strikes.
  • These tips will help you tailor a plan that’s right for your family.

Remain informed

Become involved. There are many ways to volunteer and lend a helping hand when it’s needed most. Here are some ideas and suggestions.
Typically, the OEM provides information to assist families with development of their own plan in the form of lists/checklists, hints and suggestions. In this age of smart phone technology, this information can be downloaded via an app. Several of the OEMs use this method to communicate evacuation information and allow users to report their damages to assist emergency managers with developing an overall picture of the community devastation. Some of the better apps provide tools and information to assist the user with their own emergency plan.

Tools to Help You Prepare

The Hurricane app from the American Red Cross provides:

  • Step‐by‐step instructions for the periods immediately before, during and after the hurricane
  • Suggestions on how to plan ahead to protect yourself and your assets before a hurricane threatens your home.
  • Access to severe weather information including the ability to stream NOAA (Weather) broadcasts
  • Instructions for the emergency kit include a link to a site that furnishes pre‐assembled kits
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps even without connectivity
  • Allows you to delegate tasks to family members
  • Lets you record meeting places for after the storm in case of separation
  • Identifies out of town contacts (in the event of separation)
  • Allows you to map a route to the evacuation point
  • Lets you share the plan via email with family and designated
  • “I’m Safe” tool, which allows you to create a message that can be communicated via Facebook, Twitter, email and text to concerned friends and family

Another useful resource is the zip code tool from Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Enter your zip code to find out what disasters may occur in your area.