Emergency situations : are you ready and informed? [fr]

Whether you’ve just settled in the region or you’ve been here for a long time, think of the safety and security of you and your loved ones. Here is some advice to prepare for a natural disaster or other emergency:


1- Make a plan

Every person in an area susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms needs to have a plan for emergencies.

2- Make sure you have insurance

This includes home owners or rental insurance as well as your car and other assets. Having a home inventory is also strongly recommended as it will accelerate the process of assessing damage if anything happens.

3- Tornados/Hurricanes:

Hurricane season starts June 1st and ends November 30.

Though tornadoes can hit at any time, they are usually a seasonal phenomenon. In the Southeast, the "high season" begins in March and ends in May.
- Identify your evacuation zone

  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Use the Family Emergency Planto decide these locations before a disaster.
  • Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.

- In case of an evacuation

  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
  • Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
  • Listen to official instructions before returning to your home.

- Watches vs. Warnings

Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.

Hurricane watch: A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur within 48 hours. During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action - monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.

Hurricane Warning: A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately.

4- Useful links

Last modified on 26/05/2016

top of the page