National Hurricane Preparedness Week

Posted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on May 23, 2016

The 2016 Hurricane Season begins on June 1. In a Presidential Proclamation, President Obama designated this week as National Hurricane Preparedness Week and called upon government agencies, private organizations, and residents in hurricane-prone areas to share information about preparedness to help save lives and protect their communities.

In order to increase public awareness of hazards posed by hurricanes and share steps we can all take to become better prepared, FEMA and NOAA are continuing our partnership to support preparedness this week and throughout the entire season.

In addition to the general public, we want to ensure that federal employees in hurricane-prone areas have the information they need to get ready. We encourage all of our ESF 15 partners to share preparedness resources through their employee networks. Below are some key actions people can take. We also have an online 2016 Hurricane Season Preparedness Digital Toolkit that includes resources to aid our partners in spreading the word. Within the toolkit you will find: templates for letters to employees, press releases, and blog posts; key messages; social media tools and sample messages; and resource links, including infographics, videos, and other materials.

What can you do to get ready?

Hurricanes not only affect coastal communities. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property. It only takes one to change your life and your community. As Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac remind us, it is not just major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) that we need to worry about. All hurricanes could potentially cause significant damage. Knowing your risk, getting prepared and staying informed are just a few steps people can take to get ready for hurricane season:

Know Your Risk

Find out today what types of impacts could happen where you live.

To search for general information about risks in your area, visit and search for your state.
Check out NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool for the severity and frequency of past hurricanes in your area.

Get Prepared

Take action now to be prepared for hurricane season. As the storm approaches, it is often too late to get ready. Make sure you have family evacuation and communications plans, update your emergency supply kit, and evaluate your flood insurance needs.

Know your zone. Evacuations are more common than people realize. Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation zones, so you’ll know exactly where to go. Remember: if a hurricane threatens your community and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, don’t hesitate — go early.

Complete a family communication plan. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan.

Download the FEMA app. The FEMA App includes disaster resources, weather alerts from the National Weather Service, safety tips, and a new feature that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies and maps of open shelters and disaster recovery centers.

Check your insurance coverage. Many states have increased deductibles for hurricanes and not all hurricane-related losses are covered under traditional policies. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding. Review your policy, ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions, and contact your agent for any changes. If you’re not insured against flood, talk to your agent or visit Renter’s insurance policies are also available and should be considered as a way of protecting your belongings.

Stay Informed

Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center are your official sources for hurricane forecasts, watches, and warnings.

Sign up for alerts from your local emergency management office: Register your phone and email to receive local emergency notifications, including evacuation orders.

Monitor hurricane watches and warnings and follow directions of local officials: Monitor local news for hurricane watches and warnings in your area and follow directions from local officials. Make sure you have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio available should the power go out.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA): WEAs are emergency text messages sent by government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. You do not need to opt-in to receive these messages, they are automatic for any WEA-enabled cell phone. To ensure your device is WEA-capable, check with your service provider.

For additional information, visit

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.