The first step is to get connected and informed. You want as much warning as possible if a hurricane or tropical storm is coming your way.
During hurricane season, be ready to act at any time. Tropical storms blow in off the Atlantic and into the Gulf throughout the season and even the outskirts of a storm can mean that you need to take preparation steps. Keep an eye on your weather reports and know when it's time to evacuate or batten down the hatches.
Make a Family Plan
Whether you live with family or have family in the region, it's often best to make a plan for how to survive and where to meet up during a disaster. First, have some survival gear like flashlights, water bottles, and ponchos ready in your home. Next, plan where you and your loved ones can meet up if you wind up evacuating separately.
Check Your Insurance
Most homeowner's insurance plans don't cover flooding and other damage that can be caused by a hurricane. You may or may not already be covered for hurricane-related losses. Consider your vehicle, possessions, and property when scoping out the right insurance to cover you for hurricane season.
Protect Your Home
Storms are dangerous for homes, especially if there are already weak elements in disrepair. The best way to prepare your home for a hurricane or hurricane peripheral effects is regular and vigilant maintenance with storm forces in mind.
Make sure your roof is in good shape. Have it inspected every year before hurricane season begins to make sure there are no loose shingles or cladding that could come loose during a storm. Consider another inspection after a bad hurricane to make sure no significant damage was done.
Windows are one of the biggest risks for hurricane-force storms. Especially if your home and windows were built more than ten to fifteen years ago. Old glass and rattling windows put your home at risk of shattered windows or even just rain seeping in around the loose panes. Consider re-caulking your windows at minimum or installing new double-paned storm windows which are great for energy efficiency as well as storm safety.
Check Your Drainage
When the rains come, you don't want your home to be sitting in a puddle. Keep your drains in good condition to decrease the chances of backflow and craft your landscaping in a way that naturally channels water away from the house. This way, rainwater is managed safely without risking high-level flooding or water damage.
Get Ready to Repair
If your home suffers water damage, it's important to dry it out and start repairing the damage immediately. Replace damaged upholstery, repaint bubbling walls, and seek mold remediation right away. Mold loves to set into hidden saturated places right after a flood and you'll need to stop those new colonies in their tracks to keep your home mold-free.
Prepare Your Car
Next, think about the car or vehicles you will be evacuating in. Likely, there is a family car and maybe personal cars for different members of the family. Each vehicle in your plan will need to have tires that can safely manage heavy traffic in heavy rain, and contain some basic survival gear in case you get stranded or have to camp out in the car on the evacuation path for a while.
Make sure each of your family vehicles is equipped with new-ish all-weather tires that are rated for heavy rains. This will ensure good traction and safe driving while trying to outrun a storm.
Car Camping Gear
Evacuating can involve heavy and very slow traffic. You may not make it as far as you planned to in a day of driving, especially if you start late, and it can be important to be comfortable camping in your car. Have a few well-thought road trip items in your car at all times during hurricane season, just in case.