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How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

With rapidly rising temperatures and sea levels due to climate change, hurricanes are more dangerous than ever. Although the frequency of hurricanes might not change, their intensity will increase, with a higher risk of intense rain and coastal flooding. 

Palm trees are blown by a strong breeze.

Areas that are often affected by tropical storms and hurricanes are under extreme danger and risk, but there are a lot of ways to prepare for hurricane season. Here are things you need to know: 

Preparing for hurricane season 

  • Gather emergency supplies. The CDC specifically recommends gathering food and water, medicines, flashlights, important documents, and a fire extinguisher. 
  • Make and understand a plan to quickly pack and evacuate. This includes locating shelters, filling up on gas, securing a place to stay, and making sure your housemates know the plan.  
  • Prepare your home for heavy winds, rain, and possible flooding. Make sure to stay away from windows, stay inside, watch the news, and be prepared for evacuation. 
  • Know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch means that conditions for a hurricane are possible, a hurricane warning is more serious and indicates that hurricane forces are expected to hit a certain area.  

Staying safe after a hurricane 

  • Unless it is necessary, keep out of floodwater. Flood water is often unsafe and extremely unsanitary.  
  • Avoid using wet electronics and other machinery that could produce carbon emissions. Gas generators and other gasoline-fueled devices should be avoided inside the home. 
  • Secure clean water and food. Flood and rainwater may be contaminated by debris and is incredibly unsafe to drink. 
  • Make sure to stay clean by keeping wounds covered and sanitized and wash your hands. This will help prevent the spread of infection, illness, and disease.  

Disaster Relief Information  

  • Register with www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 to get connected with information centers to learn what you can do next. 
  • The FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) provides information on how to apply for assistance, and information on disaster relief programs 
  • The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in your zip code offers assistance programs and FEMA information. 

Resources for receiving aid 

If you are looking for resources that provide aid, clothing, shelter and food, contact... 

  • The Redcross at www.redcross.org/get-help or at 1 (800)-733-2767 
  • Hurricane assistance at the HUD: https://www.hud.gov/hurricane 
  • The Salvation army service hotline 1-844-458-HOPE (4673) 
  • Other local shelter information is available online as well 

Legal aid after hurricanes 

Managing insurance, legal protections, and other procedures can be difficult to balance after a hurricane. Here are two helpful resources: