I was watching my Twitter stream on Monday afternoon and saw the Twitter account for FEMA Region4 mention that we are fast approaching the peak of the 2011 hurricane season.  That should have as wide a mention as possible, especially in the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard areas.  After all, hurricanes don’t exactly sneak up on anybody unless they’re actively avoiding the information.

FEMA has posted a good article on preparing for a hurricane at their Ready.gov website.  Their list boils down to three main points:

  1. Build a kit.  This should be “enough” to keep you fed, clothed, hydrated and able to survive without aid for at least three days.  There is some talk about the need to drop the three-day rule in favor of at least a week.  While I agree in concept, the first step is getting the general population to even get prepared for three days.
  2. Make a plan.  The old saying is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Making a plan includes having a family emergency plan as well as having prepared your home and belongings for when things go sideways.  Know your area, know what is likely to happen around you, and prepare for the most likely scenarios.  It makes perfect sense to have ply-wood sheets cut out to cover your windows in Florida but not so much in Northern Illinois. One thing that is often overlooked is flood insurance.  Most standard insurance policies specifically will NOT cover flood damage.  More information about flood preparation can be found at http://www.floodsmart.gov
  3. Be informed.  This starts with something I mentioned above: knowing your area.  In this case, this includes knowing the different levels of hurricane strength as well as thinking about taking the FEMA “Community Hurricane Preparedness” self-directed training class. Especially when talking about hurricane danger, listen to the nightly news and get yourself a NOAA weather radio.

You can’t stop a hurricane, but you can minimize the impact that it has on your life.