Chairman Carper Reminds Americans to Prepare for 2014 Hurricane Season

WASHINGTON – As National Hurricane Preparedness Week comes to a close, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, reminded Americans to prepare for the 2014 hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and the Eastern Pacific hurricane season began on May 15. Both seasons end on November 30.   

“Almost two years ago, when Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast, we witnessed the magnitude of destruction that hurricanes and hurricane hazards can cause,” Chairman Carper said. “While it is critical that the government is prepared to mitigate and respond to natural disasters, including hurricanes, it is also essential that individuals do their part to be ready for severe weather. I often say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is crucial that Americans, especially those living in coastal communities, understand the risks associated with tropical storms and prepare accordingly. Preparation for these storms can help minimize the damage to homes and businesses and keep American families safe all hurricane season long.”

Even communities far inland from the coast can experience hurricanes depending on the course of the storm, often with the threat of powerful winds and widespread flooding. In addition, strong rip currents even at large distances from the storm can threaten those at the beach many miles away.

Prepare. Contact your local law enforcement or emergency management to learn the hazards in your area. Measure the elevation of your property and assess potential flooding risks nearby. Learn accessible evacuation routes for your family and community.

Plan. Talk to your family and strategize methods of communication, transportation and shelter for potential disasters. Maintain a supply kit that includes water, food, flashlights, batteries and other materials that can support your family during an emergency.

Stay Informed. Familiarize yourself with the risks that coincide with tropical storm systems and learn terms to help identify hazardous situations; like storm surge, wind-scale or short term watches and warnings. Stay current on weather reports and sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on your mobile device.

For more information on how to prepare for hurricanes, severe weather or other natural disasters, explore the resources available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.ready.gov.