hurricaneHurricane season starts June 1. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, now is the time to start planning evacuation routes and sheltering plans and to share them with your family so when an emergency strikes, they’ll immediately know what to do.

Here are a few things you can do to help you make a quick and safe evacuation:

  • Assure you have adequate batteries to power your cell phone, radio, flashlight, and other necessary emergency equipment.  Consider getting a hand-crank or battery charger to enable recharging even when the power is out.
  • Program your cell phone with emergency numbers including numbers for your local area shelter locator.
  • Text messaging is often available during an emergency even when calling is not.  Be sure to have your contact’s emails pre-programmed into your phone so they’ll be there when you need them.
  • Have a calling and texting plan to report where you are and where to meet missing family members.  Generally choose someone in another state to get the person to gather and report back the information.  Sometimes calls locally are not available, but long distance calling is.
  • Have pets?  Check out sheltering in your area before disaster strikes.  Pet Friendly Travel includes links to local communities as well as hotels that allow pets.  Be sure to have these on hand.
  • Put important papers in a waterproof and fireproof safe, light enough to carry, and grab it and your emergency/first aid kit on the way out.  Include a list of your current medications, the dosage, and RX number in case you forget your medications or run out while away.

Disasters can strike at any time.  Being prepared can make them have less of an impact on your life.

  • 4 to 7 hurricanes will blast U.S. this year: forecasters (
  • U.S. unveils Atlantic hurricane forecast (
  • NOAA predicts ‘near-normal’ Atlantic hurricane season (