Hurricane season varies by ocean and coast but typically begins in mid-May and runs through November. This is the time of year that these storms formed from strong winds and warm water are most common. While hurricanes are very similar to tropical storms, what sets them apart are their wind speeds. For a storm to be categorized as a hurricane, the wind speed must reach at least 74mph. The combination of strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surges can make these natural events incredibly dangerous to coastal states. While we can’t prevent these storms from occurring, there are steps that we can take to ensure we are prepared before a hurricane reaches the shore. What to do Before a Hurricane The steps taken beforehand will make all the difference in how a hurricane season can play out. Practicing preparedness is the best way to ensure that you, your loved ones, and your property remain safe throughout the storm. Create an Emergency Plan Developing an emergency plan should be the first step taken by those who live in hurricane-prone areas. In an emergency plan, be sure to include the following: Where will you shelter? How will you evacuate? How will you communicate with loved ones? How will you receive emergency alerts? What will be in your emergency supplies? What will you do with any pets in the household? Do you have any specific medical or functional needs? It is critical to have the hurricane emergency plan established before the season even starts so there will be plenty of time to prepare and ensure that everyone in the household knows what the plan will be when the storm hits. Gather Supplies Once the emergency plan has been established, it is time to start gathering supplies to ensure you have everything you need. Every household should have enough supplies that will last several days. Following an emergency supply list can help make sure that everything is accounted for, and you will have what is needed to make it through the hurricane or in case an evacuation order is issued. Prepare Your Home Once the preparations have been made for the people and pets in a household, it is time to get the home ready for the season. Ensure that drains and gutters are clear to help direct the coming rainfall to a designated area. Secure or bring in any outdoor furniture to prevent them from being damaged or damaging your home. Doors and windows are some of the most vulnerable parts of a home during a hurricane. Ensure that they are properly protected from any windblown debris with a strong covering proven to resist hurricane damage, like Crimsafe window and door hurricane screens. What to do During a Hurricane As the hurricane begins to touch land, it is time to put the time spent carefully creating your plan into action. The most important thing to remember during this time is maintaining the safety of you and your loved ones. If orders are given to evacuate, it is critical to follow them and get to a secure location. Stay Informed During a hurricane, it is essential to remain updated on the status of the storm. Ensure that you have a few different ways to access alerts and new information. Whether you receive alerts through an app or radio broadcast, be sure to follow any changes in direction that may be given to your area. Stay Safe The lowest category of hurricanes can bring flooding and have winds starting at 74mph, and the speed only increases as the category of the storm does. Ensure that you are in a location that will be secure from both the winds, debris, and water. If you are in an area where flooding is present, do not walk, swim, or drive through the floodwaters. When flooding is present, move to the highest level of a building possible but do not climb into closed attics as it is possible to become trapped. What to do After a Hurricane Once the hurricane has passed, there are still precautions that should be taken in order to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. Be sure to follow the direction of local officials and stay informed on any special instructions or information on unsafe areas. As you begin the clean-up process: Use appropriate protective clothing and face coverings. Do not touch electrical equipment that is wet or if you are in standing water. If possible, turn off electrical equipment at the source before relocating the equipment. Avoid entering standing floodwater. These waters can contain dangerous pathogens, chemicals, waste, debris, and even wildlife. Downed power lines can electrically charge these waters. Take photographs of any property damage and contact your insurance company. Once the hurricane has passed, it is also a good time to communicate your situation and follow up with family or friends. After a storm, it is often possible that phone lines can be down. It is best to save phone calls for emergencies and communicate through text messages or social media in these situations. Stay Safe with Crimsafe The safety of families and businesses is a top priority for the Crimsafe team. Whether it’s protection from hurricanes, wildfires, or intruders, we put our security screens through extensive testing to ensure they will protect what matters most when the time comes. Find a dealer near you when making your hurricane preparedness plans, and discover the difference Crimsafe can make year-round, not just through hurricane season.