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Seven Tips to Stay Prepared for the 2020 Hurricane Season

Date: August 25, 2020
Tips on how to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm

The 2020 hurricane season lasts until November 30. According to predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this season may be more active than previous years. If you are in an area that may be affected by a storm, follow these tips:

Prepare an emergency plan for your family: Keep emergency phone numbers handy, written down or on your cell phone. Organize how your family members will communicate with each other, especially if you are not together at the time of the emergency and how you will be reunited if separated. Establish a family gathering place that is familiar and easy to find.

Assemble an emergency kit: Include important items in one place. Collect prescription medications, bottled water, ready-to-eat foods, important documents, first aid kit, battery-powered radio, spare batteries, and flashlight, among other items. Don't forget your pet when preparing these supplies. For more tips on building an emergency kit, visit Ready.gov.

Make sure you know where your nearest shelter is: Be aware that due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may have a different designated location than previous years. Check with local authorities where you should take refuge with your family if necessary.

Evacuate if asked: Always follow the instructions of state and local government officials. Evacuate if asked and do not return home until officials inform you that it is safe to do so. If you go with your family to a public shelter, remember to practice social distancing and follow CDC’s travel safety precautions.

Receive alerts from authorities: During an emergency, the fastest and most reliable way to get information is through the warnings and alerts provided by public safety officials. Important systems include Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), and the Weather Radio from NOAA. Learn more about these and other warning systems.

Download the FEMA and Red Cross Apps: With the FEMA app, you can get information on disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety updates in your area. This tool is available in English and Spanish. You can also download the Red Cross Emergency App to monitor security and weather conditions and share your status with loved ones.

Follow the official accounts on social networks: Follow USAGov, your official guide to government information and services, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Other helpful accounts for updates include FEMA, the National Weather Service, and the National Hurricane Center.

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