It’s that time again! The Atlantic Hurricane season starts June 1 and continues through Nov. 30. This year, a total of 17 named storms – eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes – are expected, which is above the 30-year average. If you haven’t already, start preparing for hurricane season according to these recommendations from FEMA.
• Sign up for local alerts and warnings.
• Monitor local news and weather reports.
• Prepare to evacuate by testing your emergency communication plan(s), learning evacuation routes, having a place to stay, and packing a “go bag.”
• Stock emergency supplies (non-perishable food, hand sanitizer, flashlights, water, etc.). Refill prescriptions and any other medical necessities.
• Protect your property by installing sewer backflow valves, anchoring fuel tanks, reviewing insurance policies, trimming trees and cataloging belongings.
• Collect and safeguard critical financial, medical, educational, and legal documents and records.
Other helpful steps to take ahead of a hurricane include:
• Download useful phone apps, such as FEMA, American Red Cross and NOAA.
• Make a plan for your pets. Stock up on pet food and medications, and be sure to have a pet carrier if you need to evacuate. Factor your pet’s water needs into your emergency supplies.
• Invest in a hand-crank weather alert radio/smartphone charger.
• If you have a generator, be sure it is safely installed and that you understand all safety precautions in order to avoid deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Buy an assortment of batteries now. Store inventories are quickly depleted once a storm is on its way.
The ability to quickly recover following a hurricane requires a focus on preparedness and advance planning. Work with your family now to create a Family Emergency Communication Plan and be hurricane ready.
Hurricane Preparedness Resources:
MetroWest Pulled Together After Hurricane Irma
In September of 2017, MetroWest came together in the face of natural disaster, with neighbor helping neighbor in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. MetroWest institution Josie’s Pizza and Wings opened the day after the hurricane to feed recovering residents. Girard’s Management Team (now BrightView) responded to MetroWest even before the county curfew was lifted, and Valencia College graciously allowed storm debris to be stacked on their vacant lot. The neighborhood’s heartfelt response to this crisis clearly demonstrates the strong sense of community in MetroWest.