IEM is committed to helping communities prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against natural disasters to build resilience and save lives. IEM plans recovery before disaster.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season was highly active and collided with the Coronavirus pandemic, which presented an array of unprecedented challenges. Emergency managers and government officials at the state, local, tribal and territorial level had to develop innovative strategies to increase hurricane preparedness, while adhering to health guidelines and protecting those most vulnerable. Individuals, especially those who live in at-risk areas, need to have an emergency plan ready before a hurricane strikes. Below are IEM’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips to help you plan and prepare today.
1: Know and understand your risk
Hurricanes can affect coastal and inland areas, causing storm surge, heavy rainfall, flooding, severe wind and tornadoes. Determine your risk to start planning today.
2: Make a plan
Plan now to protect you and your family in case a hurricane or any disaster strikes. Create an emergency plan tailored to your household’s specific needs.
3: Know evacuation zone & routes
You may have to evacuate in the event of a hurricane. Know your evacuation zone ahead of time and what route to take to get to safety.
4: Gather necessary supplies
A hurricane could cut off your power and water supply. Stock up on nonperishable food, water, face masks, and hand sanitizer – at least 72 hours’ worth. Keep electronics charged and have an emergency power source available to use.
5: Make your home more resilient
Prepare your home ahead of time. Trim trees on your property, clean drains, install hurricane shutters, secure outdoor furniture and move your vehicle to a safe location. Know how to turn off natural gas or other hazards.
6: Gather and review important documents
Now is the time to review insurance policies and your coverage. Make sure all your important documents are protected, in a safe, easily accessible place, and identification materials are up-to-date. Remember that flood insurance requires a 30 day waiting period. If you must evacuate, remember to take them with you in a water-tight container.
7: Stay informed
Sign up for emergency alerts with your local government and ensure emergency alerts are enabled on your phone. Always follow local guidance in case an evacuation is issued and s monitor weather forecasts and alerts from NWS and NHC.
8: Protect your pets and animals
Keep animal vaccination records in a safe location along with a recent photo of your pets in case they get separated from you during a storm. Stock up on pet supplies beforehand and identify potential hotels/shelters that take pets if you need to evacuate.
9: Follow CDC guidance in evacuation shelters
Research where your emergency shelters are. Follow CDC guidance to keep you and your family safe in emergency shelters. Bring face coverings and cleaning items, and practice social distancing when possible.
10: Avoid Floodwater
Hurricanes often cause flooding. Do not drive or swim in flooded areas. Move to higher ground if a flood occurs (avoid attics) and follow flood warnings.
11: Clean up your home safely
Follow safety precautions when cleaning up after a hurricane. Wear protective gear and do not touch wet electrical equipment.
12: Take care of your emotional health
Hurricanes can cause stress and anxiety. Take care of your mental health before, during and after a hurricane and get the help you need to cope with strong emotions.
IEM Hurricane Response
For over 35 years, IEM has been planning for and responding to natural disasters. We know the importance of responding quickly and effectively to save lives, protect property and infrastructure, and build communities back stronger following a disaster. IEM has applied its successful formula of experience, people, and technology to hundreds of emergency management projects for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government agencies and the private sector worldwide. IEM has managed billions of dollars in disaster assistance coming from a wide array of sources and programs, including federal, state, local, non-profit, philanthropic, and private sector organizations. Planning is an integral part of IEM’s mission to build a safe, secure and resilient world. Planning will be key to safely evacuate, shelter, and protect survivors while minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in a hurricane response. Our team of emergency managers, planners, and disaster recovery specialists stand ready to help you respond to the upcoming hurricane season and the unique challenges it presents.
The best time to prepare for a hurricane is before it happens. Start preparing today to safeguard you and your family’s health and safety. Follow IEM’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips and stay up-to-date on the latest tropical storm and hurricane warnings to know when a disaster may strike.
For more information on hurricanes and how to prepare, visit:
- Ready.gov: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
- National Hurricane Center & Central Pacific Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane.html
- The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/index.html
- National Hurricane Survival Initiative: https://hurricanesafety.org/