Hurricane Season is upon us. Are you prepared?

2016 Hurricane Matthew

In this Oct. 2016 NASA photo satellites see Hurricane Matthew's center near Coastal South Carolina. Hurricane preparedness is important because, as this photo shows, a storm’s effects can cover the entire East Coast.

Successfully weathering a hurricane requires preparation at every level – governments, families and individuals, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency officials.

“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector, and the public," according to Daniel Kaniewski, Ph.D., FEMA deputy administrator for resilience. “It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare.”

“The US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District annually prepares to coordinate and organize public works and engineering-related support for emergency response operations ,” said David Peterson, Savannah District Emergency Management chief.

But, the Corps is made up of people, who also need to prepare themselves and their families for potential emergency situations.

“Do you have cash on hand? Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have communication and evacuation plans? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials,” adds Kaniewski.

Savannah District’s Emergency Management (EM) Division has useful ideas and tools for personal preparedness, but most of the items people might need can already be found around the house.

Suggested emergency kit items:

  • Water One gallon per person per day, for at least three days, for drinking and hygiene
  • Food At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Can opener For food, if kit contains canned food
  • Radio Battery-powered or hand crank radio
  • Emergency charger for mobile devices
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle To signal for help
  • Face mask To help filter contaminated air, plus plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties. For personal hygiene
  • Wrench or pliers To turn off utilities
  • Local maps

These are just a few ideas for people to procure if they choose to, but it is only a starting point of ideas and suggestions about things they can do to improve their overall readiness.

The Savannah District EM team supports disaster recovery operations, but they have some preparedness advice, too.

“Make a family activity out of planning for emergencies, such as hurricanes, children who are more involved in the development process of family plans cope with stressful situations much better than those who are not involved,” added Peterson.

Emergency preparedness is something that just about anyone can do, they just need to think about what items are important to their individual situation. The EM Division has a Family Emergency Preparedness worksheet, which can be found here, to help prepare for the coming storm season.

For more ideas on hurricane and emergency preparations visit for information on how individuals and families can prepare in the event of an emergency or a disaster.