This is your friendly reminder that the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November 30. The Atlantic hurricane region encompasses the North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. As you can guess, many Coast Guard units are located in these areas, which is why it is vital that members and dependents are prepared well in advance for hazards associated with hurricanes.
While spouses might become accustomed to taking care of things while the active duty or reserve member is deployed, out on a patrol or away on duty, it is necessary to discuss procedures for weather events and other emergencies often.
1. Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making or reviewing an emergency plan (download Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids).
2. Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting www.ready.gov/alerts.
3. Discuss the evacuation order process with your family. Military dependents, civilian employees and civilian employee dependents are issued evacuation travel orders based upon the information provided in the evacuation order. The evacuation applies to dependents residing in the vicinity of the member’s permanent duty station (PDS) or at an authorized designated location. It also applies to dependents en route to establish a residence with the member and to dependents residing in the vicinity of the member’s old or new PDS.
4. Your emergency plan should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities.
5. Ensure your legal documents are up to date. Keep insurance policies, wills, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box and in a place less likely to be damaged if a hurricane causes flooding. Take pictures on a phone or save electronic copies of important documents and files on an encrypted flash drive.
6. Brief other family members and neighbors on your plan as well so they can follow up with your dependents when you might not be able to do so.
Here are some apps to download before hurricane season starts:
- Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. The FEMA mobile app is free and can be downloaded in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.
- The National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issue watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather.
NOTE: The Apps may request a user to turn on location services. Any location information provided by the user is strictly voluntary.
For more information on how to prepare for hurricanes and other weather events, click here.