Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 5-11) is the perfect time to ensure your Affiliate has a hurricane disaster plan in place. Pacific hurricane season begins May 15, while the Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1. It is important to have a plan in place before the seasons start.
If your Affiliate is located in a coastal region, work on getting your plan in place by following these tips:
Create an emergency communication plan
The National Weather Service recommends addressing the following questions to create a plan.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
These questions should be addressed as an Affiliate and shared with employees and volunteers.
Keep an emergency kit
Should a storm hit while employees, volunteers or customers are at your Affiliate, it is important to have a disaster kit with supplies like:
- Battery operated radio
- Three day water supply (1 gallon of water per person, per day)
- Non-perishable three day food supply
- First Aid Kit
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Emergency contact information
Know your local community’s evacuation plan
Always listen to local officials. If evacuation is necessary, take your emergency supply kit, leave early enough to avoid the severe weather and follow recommended routes. If you have time before evacuation, do what you can to protect your Affiliate’s property.
Protect your Affiliate’s property
Keep a checklist of measures to take if a hurricane is predicted, including:
- Sandbag any area that is subject to flooding.
- Put plywood or shutters over windows.
- Anchor and brace any large furniture to wall studs.
- Unplug electrical equipment such as computers and TVs. Leave fridges and freezers plugged in, unless there is risk of flooding.
- If instructed by authorities, turn off all the utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall.
- Contact employees and volunteers informing them of the closure.
Along with preparing your Affiliate, encourage your employees and volunteers to do the same. Join in on all the Hurricane Preparedness Week activities here.