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Hurricane Preparedness


The Chatham Borough Office of Emergency Management is asking residents to prepare for the 2019 Hurricane Season. The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1. 

If you haven’t already, take a moment to sign up for AlertChathamBorough at www.chathamborough.org

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit  and make a family communications plan .
  • Know your surroundings.
  • Identify storm sewers, ponds, rivers or brooks that may overflow their banks in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn local hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.

Make plans to secure your property:

  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows.
  •  A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
  • Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring inside all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Install an emergency generator.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor

According to ready.gov, “Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) website, www.floodsmart.gov , or call 1-800-427-2419.”

“To learn what you can do to prepare for hurricane season and pledge to prepare, visit ready.gov/hurricanes . If you use a Smartphone you are encouraged to download the FEMA smartphone app , which contains disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers. The app is free to download through your Smartphone provider’s app store.”

FEMA invites all to take the pledge to prepare by taking the following steps:   

Know your risk: Understand how hurricanes can affect you, your family, and your community. When you understand your risk, you know how important it is to prepare. Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for local alerts from emergency management officials. Consider buying a NOAA Weather Radio.   

Take action: Pledge to develop an emergency plan and practice how and where you will evacuate if instructed to do so by emergency management officials. Post your plan in your home where visitors can see it. Learn how to strengthen your home and business against hurricanes. You can access important safety tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane by downloading FEMA’s mobile app from www.fema.gov . Be sure you understand the National Hurricane Center warning and alerts.   

Set an Example: Once you have pledged and taken action, set an example by talking to your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors on what you have done to prepare for a potential storm and what steps they can take as well.   

Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding is available at www.weather.gov  and www.ready.gov/hurricanes  and on the Spanish language website www.listo.gov

Learn More

Resources from the National Hurricane Center: