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EPA Provides Practical Tips for Americans to Prepare for Hurricane Season

05/04/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (May 4, 2020) -The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is highlighting National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 3-9, 2020) to help Americans prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season from June 1 to November 30. EPA plays a major role in helping the public stay prepared and respond to natural disasters like hurricanes.

“Being prepared and having a plan to protect your family and home is imperative during hurricane season,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “During this time of social distancing, we encourage everyone to take steps to prepare for this year’s hurricane season at home.” 

There are various ways the public can prepare themselves and their family before a storm to help prevent property damage, storm debris and, most importantly, stay safe.

  • Make a supplies kit – Having an emergency kit to prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes is essential. A basic kit may include things such as canned food, first aid supplies, flashlights and other items. It is also important to include a gallon of water per day for each person and pet for at least three days. Make sure a preparedness kit includes medicines.
  • Develop a family plan – Making an emergency plan that includes all the members of your household is a great way to get organized before a storm. The plan can include alternative ways to contact occupants, what to do if you get separated, and important contact information. The family plan should include a plan for any pets (one of the number one reasons people stay when they are told to leave is they don’t have a plan for pets).
  • Prepare your home – Hurricanes can damage structures, such as homes. As a result, many household items that contain chemicals and other substances, such as enamel-based paint, bathroom cleaners, and batteries, can leak into the environment and cause harm. Be sure to properly dispose of or store items that can cause household hazardous waste (HHW).
  • Know whom to contact – It’s important to know who to contact during emergencies. If you have an immediate or life-threatening issue, always call 911. If you witness an oil, chemical, or hazardous substance spill or discharge resulting from a hurricane, call the National Response Center at 800-424-8802.
  • Spread the word – Be sure to share resources on how to stay prepared with friends and family. There are many tools available that can increase safety for people and communities.

EPA’s primary mission during natural disaster emergencies is to protect people and the environment from chemical, oil, radiological, biological and hazardous threats before, during and after a natural disaster. The Agency works with federal, state and local governments, tribes and other stakeholders to reduce risks to human health and the environment.

For more information on hurricanes, visit https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/hurricanes.

For more information on EPA’s emergency response program, visit https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response.

For general information on emergency preparedness, visit FEMA’s ready.gov.

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