Just as we start to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, here comes June 1 – the official start of hurricane season. Share these helpful tips with new neighbors or loved ones to ensure our community is ready for this upcoming hurricane season!
United Way serves as one of Palm Beach County’s key partners before, during, and after hurricanes and other disasters. Learn more about that critical part of our work here.
With the NHC’s forecast looking to be above normal again this year, we’re here to help you brush up on your hurricane preparedness plan. No panic buying or stress eating for you this year! (Ok fine, we might be stress eating our Cheetos, too, if it comes down to it.)
Here’s our short list of items to get your family prepared and ready to recover from whatever this hurricane season may bring us!
1. Disaster Supply Kit
It’s time to dust off your hurricane supply kit & refresh many of the must-have items for this year! Check out this handy dandy supply kit in a bucket. Compare your kit to this picture created by our Disaster Response team and make sure you have everything you need!
2. Add COVID supplies
And don’t forget a few items courtesy of COVID-19: masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer!
If you own a home and have the means to purchase a generator, consider investing in one. Some HOAs and communities have rules on generators, so be sure to check on that before purchasing and follow all best practices if you need to use the generator this year. This may not be a feasible option for every family, so keep reading for other ways to help your family get prepared.
4. Sales Tax Holiday
Shop it like it’s hot! (Y’all, it’s literally 100+ degrees out here, so we’re shoppin’ like it’s hot no matter what). Take advantage of the Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday happening May 28 to June 6, 2021! It’s a perfect time to stock up on the hurricane season essentials. You can save 7% on sales tax on certain items, and those savings can get you at least one extra bag of the family size Doritos. #justsaying
5. Keep calm and prepare your hurricane snacks
While we’re on the topic of family size Doritos and other healthy, nutritious items….Do you have enough non-perishable food for your family for 5-7 days? Time to stock up on some snacks and some easy to prepare items in case we experience significant power outages from a storm. Canned tuna and chicken are easy, protein-filled items to have on hand.
6. Sign up for County Alerts
Once you’ve got your supplies ready for your hurricane party, make sure you are getting accurate, updated information from trustworthy sources! Head to Palm Beach County’s website to sign up for their notifications and alerts. Our partners at the County are hurricane season professionals and are dedicated to keeping everyone in PBC safe and informed!
7. Know Your Zone
Next up: Double check your evacuation zone. Find the map located here to see what zone your house is in for any evacuation notices. Remember: if your zone is being evacuated, you only need to travel a few miles – not hundreds of miles – to a safe place. Call a relative or friend who is further inland ahead of hurricane season and see if you can bring your hurricane party to their house, if needed!
You can also check out the closest shelter to you here if you are in an evacuation zone and need to head to a shelter. There’s even a helpful video on what 20 feet of shelter space looks like and what essentials to bring.
8. Flood Insurance
A bit of a tricky one here, but our recommendation is to simply get informed on your family’s flood insurance situation, whatever it may be! Three things to know: 1. See if your house is located in a flood zone. 2. Check your current insurance policy to know if you are paying for flood insurance and any stipulations around it. 3. Explore your options for flood insurance and make a well-informed decision that is best for your family.
9. Make an Evacuation Plan
At United Way, we are dedicated to helping everyone in our community have access to basic needs, especially during hurricane season! Part of our role in disaster response is to help our community get prepared ahead of time for hurricane season, and truly any disaster. The reality is that nearly half of the households in our community (a whopping 47%) can’t afford a $400 emergency. It’s important for you and your family to make a plan ahead of a storm. Decide if you plan to evacuate or not, and where you will go if you are in an evacuation zone.
Our team created an interactive game to help you understand tough decisions that thousands of families in our community have to make each year during hurricane season. If you would like to talk with our team about facilitating this game for your company, click here.
Congrats! You’ve made it through the checklist and hopefully you feel prepared for this year’s hurricane season! The last thing to do is consider becoming a United Way Disaster Response volunteer! Sign up here and we will send you volunteer trainings and opportunities for our post-hurricane recovery work. That might mean answering phone calls for donations or helping clear debris (when it is safe to do so, of course!). We’d love for you to join us in the event that we need to rally together to respond to our neighbors in need.
May Mother Nature Be Ever In Our Favor. 😊