Living on the coast has its advantages, even if you don’t live walking distance to the beach. From that warm, salty air swirling around you, to being just a short drive away from sand between your toes, the coast is a great place to call home. But for those who live near the water there is one very serious disadvantage—Mother Nature.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October, while the Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends Nov. 30. And unfortunately storms can strike anywhere along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas and areas over 100 miles inland. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific are also in the hurricane zone.
For those living in the path of one of these storms it’s important to be prepared. And hurricane readiness begins with having a good plan. Here are three things that can help keep you safe when severe weather strikes.
1. The latest hurricane news
When a storm strikes, access to the latest real-time information is important. Local news stations and a weather radio are both great ways to get updates.
If you want notifications and updates in the palm of your hand, the FEMA mobile app is a good resource. Its key features include:
- Alerts for up to five locations
- Safety reminders and tips
- Emergency checklists
- Open shelter locations
- Disaster reporter—share and find information on damage
2. Emergency go-bag
While you hope it doesn’t happen, sometimes an evacuation during a storm becomes necessary. Having a go-bag already prepared can help you get out the door faster, and without worry of forgetting any important items.
Check out a list of recommended items here.
3. Get your car hurricane-ready
Your car may be your key to safety if you need to evacuate. Here are some tips to make sure your car is ready:
- Map out your potential evacuation routes.
- Pack emergency supplies in your vehicle.
- Fill your gas tank before the storm makes landfall.
Find more tips on what to do if you’re ordered to evacuate or are returning home after an evacuation here.