This article has been adapted from American Red Cross.
The Atlantic hurricane season, which usually runs from June to November, is the time of year when hurricanes form in the Atlantic Ocean. Within the last seven years, storms have developed before the season’s designated start. It’s critical for people who live in hurricane-prone areas to start making their preparedness plans now. The American Red Cross offers some tips to get ready for the hurricane season and is currently seeking volunteers to help in their disaster efforts.
How to get ready
These are some steps you and your family can make to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season:
- Create an evacuation plan. Plan what to do in case you’re separated from your family during an emergency and if you have to evacuate. Your plan should include a meeting place near your home and outside your neighborhood, an escape route from your home, and an emergency contact, to name a few items. The American Red Cross has a useful Family Disaster Plan template.
- Build an emergency kit. Your emergency kit should include a gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, a first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants or pets, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
- Be informed. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Red Cross Emergency App provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe during severe weather and countless other emergencies.
How you can help
The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers to help with disaster relief in hurricane-prone areas. You can sign up now to apply for their most-needed disaster volunteer positions, which include:
- Shelter support: Help at a shelter during a large disaster by welcoming and registering residents, serving meals, setting up cots, distributing blankets and personal hygiene kits, and providing information and other assistance to people in need.
- Health Services: Use your professional skills as a licensed health care provider to deliver hands-on support, including care and education, to people staying at a shelter during a large disaster. Qualified licenses include RN, LPN, LVN, EMT, Paramedic, MD, DO, PA, NP, and APRN.
- Disaster Action Team: While big hurricanes get the most news coverage, smaller disasters such as home fires are no less devastating to those affected. Join your local Disaster Action Team to help families in need by providing food, lodging, comfort, recovery assistance, and other support.
Visit American Red Cross for more details about their disaster relief efforts and stay updated on their national and local efforts.