5 Crucial Tips for Hurricane Season

With another Atlantic hurricane season underway, it’s time to revisit those contingency plans. Even if you’ve been through dozens of hurricanes and tropical storms, brushing up on safety measures is still essential. Otherwise, you might have to scramble just before a storm hits. Here are five strategies to plan for the 2024 hurricane season.

Create an Emergency Plan

First, you need an emergency plan to cover all the logistics, from where you’ll shelter during an evacuation order to how you’ll weather a storm at home. Don’t overcomplicate it, but think through the details so everyone in your household knows how to respond.

While you should have ample notice before a hurricane arrives, reviewing the plan with your immediate family is still important. If you’re separated from each other, be sure to designate a meet-up point to reconnect as well.

This strategy should also outline what to do with pets, how to protect your home, and other basic contingencies. While you can perform some tasks early, other action steps like filling up the gas tank, must be done closer to the storm’s arrival.

Protect Your Valuables

You’ll also need to protect your valuables, heirlooms, furnishings, and other personal items. Secure outdoor structures like sheds, trampolines, or swing sets. If possible, disassemble and store these items so they are out of the storm’s immediate path. Otherwise, the wind might blow them away and cause harm to others.

Gather your insurance documents, social security cards, or other essential forms. Store them in a secure, weather-proof safe. If you receive evacuation orders, consider taking these items with you in case the house floods or sustains extensive damage.

Stock Up On Essentials

If your area experiences severe storm damage, you could be without power for days or weeks. If this occurs, you’ll need to stock up on essential supplies. Here’s a basic rundown of the items you should keep on hand:

  • 7-day supply of nonperishable foods
  • 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Extra cash for emergencies
  • First aid supplies and prescription medications
  • Sanitation and hygiene items
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches or handheld lighters
  • Battery-powered radio

Don’t overlook basic vehicle supplies, such as a flare, air pump, jumper cables, and tire repair tools. If you have pets or small children, stock up on items for them, too. Obtain a week’s worth of formula and several bottles for nursing infants. For pets, include a week’s worth of food and a seven-day supply of water.

Talk With Your Family

Hurricane season can be stressful, especially for young children. Talk with your loved ones about the upcoming storm season, common dangers to look out for (like down power lines or flooding), and which actions you are taking to plan ahead. Make sure everyone knows where the basic supplies are, and keep these items in a safe, accessible place that all family members can reach. Knowledge is a crucial asset during hurricane season.

Follow Weather Advisories

While you don’t have to spend hours staring at the weather channel, pay close attention once a named tropical storm enters the news cycle. Monitor its projected track to see if your region will be impacted. These storms can be unpredictable, so never assume a hurricane will miss you, even if the track seems to be shifting in another direction. If local or state officials issue weather advisories or evacuation orders, take them seriously. Don’t try to ride out the storm at home if your area will experience significant floods or storm surges.

Be Diligent and Plan Ahead this Hurricane Season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted this 2024 Atlantic hurricane season to be “above normal,” so it’s critical to plan as soon as possible. Follow these strategies now—don’t wait until the last minute. Proactive safety measures could make all the difference when a hurricane or tropical storm blows through.