Although we can’t prevent a natural disaster, preparing for emergencies ahead of time can ensure the safety of your family and help reduce damage to your property. Here are some ways you can prepare for a disaster:
Make sure your family knows what to do during an emergency.
FEMA has put together a Family Emergency Plan template. Print it out, and make disaster preparedness a family activity.
When disaster strikes, you may need to evacuate with very little notice. If you are stranded at home, emergency officials will be on the way to help, but they may not be able to reach you immediately. It is important to prepare both evacuation and at-home emergency kits. At minimum, each survival kit should contain the following items:
Stock your kit with enough food, water and other essentials to last for at least 72 hours for evacuations. When preparing your at-home survival kit, be sure to maintain a 2-week supply of all items.
You should also consider making copies of the following documents to keep in each kit:
For additional information about building an emergency kit, visit RedCross.org.
Hurricane season takes place from June 1 to September 30, usually peaking in late August through September. Hurricane hazards include heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds and even tornadoes. While hurricanes cannot be prevented, the following procedures can keep your family safe and reduce damage to your property.
Review our Flood Safety section to learn what to do in the event of a flood.
While most tornadoes occur in the Tornado Alley region, they can occur nearly anywhere at any time. Tornadoes can strike quickly, with little or no warning, and can accompany thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May.
Tornado danger signs include:
If you see a tornado or any of the danger signs, take shelter immediately.
Review FEMA’s advice for shelter.
Make sure your property is adequately protected. Once a year, contact your agent to review your insurance policy. If you have made any recent purchases or renovated your property, you may need to adjust your coverage.
Visit our Severe Weather Resources section for information about government organizations, locating family members after a disaster and avoiding scams.
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