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Hurricane Season Begins June 1. Are You Prepared?

The long, harsh winter is behind us, and just as Mainers’ thoughts turn to summer, June marks the arrival of hurricane season.

According to a 2013 survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel, few Americans living in coastal counties have taken necessary action to prepare for severe tropical storms and hurricanes. Only about half of those surveyed have an evacuation plan or a plan for communicating with family members if they are separated. Nearly a third of people did not have an emergency kit with supplies.

The Atlantic and Caribbean Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 25 - 31, urges people to take steps before a storm strikes.

“Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” said Larry French, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. “It’s important that families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and download the free Red Cross Hurricane App to help make it through the next storm safely.

Prepare Before The Storm

Hurricanes are powerful and dangerous storms that often bring heavy rain and flooding. Destructive winds can down power lines, uproot trees, or damage homes. On the coast, storm surges can travel several miles inland, destroying everything in their path. Even inland communities can experience hurricanes, often with powerful winds and widespread flooding.

Some things you can do to prepare:

  • Pack a survival kit – Items include a gallon of water per person, per day, on-perishable, easy-to-prepare food items, flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible), First aid kit, and medications. Learn more at
  • Make a disaster plan for your family, and practice the plan.
  • Download the free Red Cross Hurricane App, which includes information on Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light, and alarm. Its one-touch “I’m Safe” button tells family that you’re okay. Visit
  • As hurricane season approaches, it is important to know the difference between the threat levels.

  • A Hurricane Watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s then time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.
  • A Hurricane Warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s then time to complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
  • About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @ARC_Maine.