Preparedness Newsletter

This Digest is provided by FEMA's Individual & Community Preparedness Division to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources, an important part of FEMA's mission to help people before, during, and after disasters. We're building a culture of preparedness together.

May 2021 Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter: Prepare for Hurricane Season - May 6, 2021

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Ready Tips

Prepare Now for Hurricanes

May marks the beginning of hurricane season in the US, with Eastern Pacific hurricane season beginning May 15 and Atlantic and Central Pacific hurricane season beginning June 1. Regardless of where hurricanes land, they always come with powerful winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding, which can cause significant harm to life and damage property. 

If you haven't prepared for hurricane season before, now is the time to get ready. Here are some ways to stay ahead of the storm and be better prepared.

Be on Alert

Make an Emergency Plan

  • Get started by having enough supplies for your household, including medication, disinfectants, masks, and pet supplies  in your go bag or car trunk.
  • Make sure to have extra water and nonperishable foods at home. After a hurricane, you may not be able to purchase some essential items for days or even weeks.
  • Involve your whole family in creating a family emergency communications plan and emergency kit .
  • Learn your evacuation routes . Practice with household members and pets and identify where you will stay. Local emergency managers will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community.
  • If you need to evacuate to a public shelter, review the latest CDC guidelines for public shelters before you head out. If public evacuation shelters aren't the safest choice for you and your family, prepare alternative plans to shelter in place at home or with nearby friends or family, whichever is safest.

Prepare Your Home and Help Your Neighbors

  • Make sure to clear storm drains and gutters and bring in outside furniture. Consider installing hurricane shutters if you need added protection against the storm.
  • Check with neighbors,  seniors , or those  who may need additional help when making your plans.

Visit to learn more about how to get ready for hurricanes and how to stay safe during a storm.


CERT and Communities

Tips for CERTs as Hurricane Season Nears

Are you a Volunteer or Program Manager with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) ? Hurricane season is on the way, and while COVID-19 vaccines are putting a dent in the pandemic, social distancing, and other measures will need to be in place again this year during the response to storms.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and their impacts, now is the time to start planning with your CERT for how you may need to adjust your hurricane preparedness activities.

CERTs in North Carolina and Florida provided some tips for how they responded to a complex hurricane season last year. The year 2020 saw 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall. Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science predicts another above-average season in 2021. Keep your eyes out for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) forecast in late May. Read more…


Develop a Communications Plan During a Hurricane or Other Emergencies

Depending on where your organization is located, hurricane season may have a big impact on the community that you serve. Whether it's dealing with having to evacuate your office due to heavy winds, flooding or other issues stemming from a storm, it's important to be able to let your community know about the conditions that may affect your organization's ability to provide services.

Part of your organization's preparation for hurricanes and other emergencies includes developing a plan that allows you to respond promptly, accurately, and confidently. This is a critical part of preparing for disasters.

To get started on your plan, consider your audience. They may be customers who rely on your services, community partners, your employees and their families, or the news media. Then, design pre-scripted messages for a variety of risks. For example, think about the type of information that you might need to convey during a hurricane. Read more…


Important Dates


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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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