How to Prepare for 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Superstorm Sandy
National Weather Service radar of Superstorm Sandy hitting the New York Metropolitan area on Oct. 29, 2012.

After battling a brutal winter that featured more than one polar vortex and a whole lot of snow (and potholes), Long Islanders are more than ready to unleash the sunscreen, beach chairs and flashy umbrellas for a much-needed infusion of summer sun.

But while families are filling their trunks with summer necessities, local officials relief organizations are advising residents to begin taking the necessary steps to prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane season, which officially starts Sunday.

Don’t worry, folks, the American Red Cross put together some tips for families as this not-so-welcome hurricane season gets underway:

  • Create an emergency preparedness kit with food and water and other basic supplies for each family member to last at least three days. Remember to include essential medications, copies of important documents and special items for children and pets.
  • Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you have to evacuate. Coordinate with your child’s school, your work and community’s emergency plans.
  • Be informed about what disasters or emergencies may occur where you live, work, play and pray, and how to respond as safely as possible. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information.

Officials are impressing upon residents to do what they can to prepare for the possibility of tropical storms after a 2013 survey conducted by the Red Cross and The Weather Channel revealed revealed that only half of Americans living in coastal counties have an evacuation plan or discussed a place where they’d meet in the event they were separated. One-third of those surveyed lacked an emergency kit with supplies, officials said. The survey was conducted after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on Long Island and much of the Northeast.

“Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” John Miller, Long Island Red Cross CEO, said in a statement.

In preparation for this year’s hurricane season, the Red Cross has placed dozens of trailers filled with relief items across the Island. The relief group also boats more than 1,100 volunteers trained to assist communities in the event of a major storm.

The National Weather Service predicted a “normal” hurricane season in 2014. The Atlantic Hurricane Season ends Nov. 30.