The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1st through November 30th each year. And each year, several months before the season starts, forecasters announce their predictions for just how severe the season will be. This year, the forecast calls for a quiet season with eight to 13 tropical storms and three to six hurricanes. 

While this news may sound reassuring to those who live in coastal areas, keep in mind that the forecast is a guess. It's an educated guess, mind you, but a guess just the same. Many times these forecasters are pretty accurate and other times, not so much (like last year). With all that in mind, though, this prediction should not deter anyone from treating this season as any other, preparing their homes, and stocking up on supplies.

First things first, make an emergency supplies kit. This kit should include:

 

  • ◙ Bottled water and non-perishable food (enough for 3 days)
  • ◙ A first aid kit
  • ◙ Batteries
  • ◙ Flashlights
  • ◙ A battery-operated radio
  • ◙ A manual can opener
  • ◙ Blankets
  • ◙ Waterproof matches
  • ◙ A whistle to signal for help
  • ◙ Photocopies of identification and credit cards
  • ◙ Cash
  • ◙ Extra clothing
  • ◙ A local map

 

Next, develop an emergency plan. This plan should cover:

 

  • ◙ How you and your family members will get in touch with one another.
  • ◙ Family meeting places in the event that the family is separated.
  • ◙ Community evacuation routes.
  • ◙ Handling special needs, like family members who have limited mobility.
  • ◙ Caring for animals.

 

Finally, secure your property. Take actions like:

 

  • ◙ Installing storm shutters or purchasing plywood to cover the windows.
  • ◙ Adding roof fasteners or straps.
  • ◙ Keeping trees and shrubs well trimmed.
  • ◙ Reinforcing garage doors.
  • ◙ Installing a generator.

 

While this list is not exhaustive, it should provide a good starting point to help you get ready for hurricane season. You can find additional resources online with FEMA, the National Hurricane Center, or the Red Cross

And if you've got other tips for how you've successfully weathered hurricanes, feel free to share them in the comments section!