WASHINGTON, June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1 and ends on November 30.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, more than 35 million people live in areas that can be affected by hurricanes.
The strong winds, heavy rains and flooding that go along with hurricanes can cause serious damage to property, and endanger lives. Being informed about what to do before, during, and after a hurricane can help you and your family stay safe, and prevent property damage.
Before and during the storm
- Be aware of any emergency alert signals issued by authorities
- Get to know the evacuation routes and emergency procedures of the places you and your family frequent, such as school or your office building
- Identify the most secure places in your home, which can be a room with few windows, a hallway or a basement
- Find evacuation and emergency shelters for your neighborhood
- Put together an emergency supply kit
- Use shutters to cover your house's windows
- Make sure blinds and windows are closed
In case of an evacuation
- Tune your radio to NOAA's National Weather Service to know what to do and where to go
- If you are away from your family, make a plan where to meet once the hurricane passes
- Shut windows and doors, and unplug any electrical appliances before leaving the house
- Pack a bag with clothes, medicine, important documents, cash, and your emergency kit
- Drive only on roads that have been approved by officials, and avoid taking shortcuts that could be hazardous
- Return home only when authorities say the danger has passed
- Don't walk or drive in flooded areas or unstable structures, such as bridges or alternate routes
- Check the area outside your house before going in, as there could be loose power lines or other dangerous objects that aren't immediately visible
- Do not go inside if you smell gas, or if there are signs of any flooding or fire as the home's structure may be weakened
- Take photos of any damaged areas to use when filing a claim with your insurance company
- America's PrepareAthon is a new national campaign with the objective of teaching people how to prepare for a hurricane and other natural disasters
- FEMA offers help to victims of natural disasters