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EDEN's Ready Tips > Posts > Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins When the Calendar Turns to June

 

Alabama hasn't felt the impacts of a hurricane since 2005 when wind damage from Hurricane Katrina extended into northern Alabama. The prior year Hurricane Ivan made landfall just west of Gulf Shores and moved north through the state. Damage was not limited to coastal counties. One hundred miles inland, Demopolis received wind gusts estimated at 90 mph, while Montgomery saw wind gusts in the 60-70 mph range.

​NOAA's Hurricane Prediction Center says we're most likely to see a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The 2016 prediction suggests more hurricane activity than we've seen in the past three years. It is time to check your level of preparedness for hurricane season.

Five Things You Can Do To Be Prepared

  1. Gather your emergency supplies now. Don't wait until the storm is imminent. Many items you need you already may have at home. Check this basic emergency supplies list.
  2. Create a hurricane evacuation plan. Be sure to include plans to accommodate special needs and pets. If your home is sufficiently reinforced and outside the evacuation zone, you may plan to stay there. If you can't use your house, decide now where you'll go—for instance, to a friend's or relative's house or a shelter that is officially open. 
  3. Review your insurance policies. If you are in a flood zone or in a special flood hazard area, do you have flood insurance? If your property is near a ridge or open land or water, it may be especially susceptible to wind damage. Does your insurance cover wind damage?
  4. Protect and strengthen your house. Trim or cut tree branches and shrubs that may damage your house in a storm. Determine if the house has connectors to tie the roof to the walls and the walls to the foundation. Can you retrofit to strengthen your home? Consider options to protect windows, garage and doors. Consider buying a generator; if you already have one, inspect it to insure it is working properly.
  5. Plan to secure your belongings. If you discuss this with your family ahead of time, the stress of moving them can be reduced. You will want to bring in all outdoor furniture and anything else that might blow away. If you have antique or sentimental pieces and your house is prone to flooding, or you think it might, move those pieces to a higher level. You can also take inventory of your belongings now, either by pictures or pen and paper. This will better help the insurance company assess losses.

See also the Alabama Homeowner Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, and the Emergency Handbook from Alabama Extension.

Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 – November 30. Be ready and be safe!​


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