June 1 marked the official return of the Atlantic hurricane season, when most (Atlantic) hurricanes typically form and emergency officials step up pleas for us to make storm preparations.
But whether it’s because we downplay the risks of a hurricane, we haven’t experienced a hurricane before, or we have simply become overwhelmed at the thought, some of us may tend to put those preparations off, waiting until the skies cloud up and weather warnings are deployed.
There are, however, convincing reasons not to postpone preparations. Here are three advantages to getting prepared early in the season:
If you wait until the last minute to purchase emergency provisions, you risk having to wait in long lines to buy them (if you find them at all). Take the 2012 storm Sandy. As the storm approached New York City, media outlets were flooded with images of the “tidal waves of shoppers” scrambling for last-minute purchases of food and water.
Buying your emergency essentials now may help keep you out of a similar situation. Ready.gov suggests some basics:
Another great benefit of starting hurricane plans early is that you can test and refine emergency procedures before you need them. Here are some measures Ready.gov suggests you put in place:
Making hurricane preparations early can also afford you the time to make home improvements that may help defend your property during a storm. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) says there are “affordable methods and products” that can help minimize hurricane damage, including:
(Always use a reputable local contractor or service provider for these types of projects.)
For more smart ways to ready yourself, look into 20 Days to Ready, a 20-day series of simple daily tasks to help you better prepare and protect your family when disaster strikes.