How to properly prepare for a hurricane

  • Published
  • By Security and Emergency Services, DLA Installation Management Richmond

Hurricanes are a type of storm called a tropical cyclone, which forms over tropical or subtropical waters. These storms can cause catastrophic damage to communities and property, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

OSHA’s website indicates these storms can have wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or higher. With the strongest hurricanes having wind speeds exceeding 155 miles per hour.  

The Atlantic Coast, near the Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Southwestern United States are most vulnerable to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November and peaks between August and October.

This article focuses on ways to better prepare yourself and family for this meteorological threat.

Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond’s Security and Services’ Emergency Manager Bill Bullock said things you can do now are to make sure your insurance policies and personal documents like identification cards are up to date, make copies, and keep them in a secure password-protected digital space. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you print emergency phone numbers before a hurricane strikes.

Create a family disaster plan and ensure everyone in your household knows and understands your plan.  Special considerations should include preparations for older adults, pets and children.

Bullock said suppose you are aware of a hurricane and have reasonable expectations that your house, apartment, camper or trailer are in its path, then you need to gather emergency supplies. This process includes stocking your home and your car with supplies.  Allow yourself more time than usual to prepare your household. Emergency supplies could consist of medication, disinfectant supplies, pet supplies, emergency food, water and medical supplies in your go-bag or car trunk. You should pack enough supplies for days or even weeks. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these needed items.

Hurricanes are intense storms that can be life-threatening and cause severe hazards such as flooding, high winds and tornadoes; you should never ignore an evacuation order.

Bullock recommends that you pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household pets, and identify where you will stay.

Lastly, protect your family and pets from unnecessary hardships and harm by planning when you have time to develop, practice and stockpile supplies.

There are several ways to receive alerts for hurricanes: Download the FEMA app

  • To receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
  • Sign up for local community alerts and be aware of their emergency alert systems in the area you live.
  • Ensure your Automatic Target Handoff Correlator, more commonly known as AtHoc, information is current. A common access card is required to access AtHoc.

AtHoc is an emergency mass notification system that provides enterprise-class alerting software for physical security, force protection, personnel accountability and critical communication.

With the AtHoc notifications system, employees will receive emails and phone calls at work during emergencies, or when the installation has a closure or delayed opening. In addition, there is the option of getting alert messages on home phones and other personal communications equipment (personal email, cell phone calls and texts.)