2021 Hurricane Preparedness Resources For Faith-Based and Community-Based Organizations

DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Prepare Now for Hurricane Season! 

June 1st marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released the 2021 outlook, which predicts another active season. It’s important to remember that it only takes one storm to devastate a community. Now is the time to prepare your home and your family. Remember, hurricanes are not just a coastal problem, so it’s important to know the risks where you live: rain, wind and flooding could happen far from the coast.

Hurricanes are among the most powerful and destructive phenomena in nature. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents. Hurricane season started on June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. It ends on November 30. Make sure you and your family are prepared by planning ahead.

  • Make a Plan
  • Gather Emergency Supplies
    • Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, cloth face coveringspet supplies in your go bag or car trunk. If you live in Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, consider having supplies to last at least 10 days.
    • Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and consider a backup charging device to power electronics.
  • Know the Difference between a Watch and a Warning
    • A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour [mph] or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.
    • A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.
    • Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)- which requires no-sign up.
  • Get your Home and Car Ready
    • Declutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, consider hurricane shutters.
    • Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch your power off.
    • Fill clean water containers with drinking water. You’ll want to do this in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
    • Fill your car’s gas tank and move your car into your garage or under cover.
  • Get Family and Pets Ready
    • If you or anyone in your household is an individual with a disability identify if you may need additional help during an emergency.
    • Put pets and farm animals in a safe place. Pre-identify shelters, a pet-friendly hotel, or an out-of-town friend or relative where you can take your pets in an evacuation.
  • Be Ready to Evacuate or Stay at Home
    • If a hurricane is coming, you may hear an order from authorities to evacuate (leave your home). Never ignore an order to evacuate. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety.
    • Get a COVID-19 vaccineas soon as you can. COVID-19 vaccines help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and may also help protect people around you.
      • You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home might be safer than leaving.
  • COVID-19 Public Education campaign
    • Learn about the COVID-19 Public Education Campaign and share the information with your community and congregation.
    • There are many resources that houses of worship and faith based organizations can use at Campaign Resources & Toolkits and feel free to share videos and other resources available in several languages.  
    • Join the National Vaccine Month of Action mobilization effort in support of the Department of Health & Human Services’ We Can Do This campaign to ensure as many people as possible receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot by July 4th. Events will take place all month long - phone banks, text banks, and in-person events - to increase access, confidence, and equity for the COVID-19 vaccines across the country.
    • If your House of Worship or organization would like to commit to participating in this National Vaccine Month of Action please visit here to learn about the effort and find an event near you.

You can find more general information and guidance at Ready.gov Hurricanes, CDC’s Preparing for a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storms and FEMA’s Disaster Assistance - Hurricanes. Until then remember to stay informed, make a plan and build a kit. You cannot minister to others until you minister to yourself.


We Can Do This Campaign

We’re inviting faith and community leaders to help reach people who haven’t received the vaccine or who may be waiting to get vaccinated. It’s important to focus on how easy and accessible it is to find a vaccine. Here are links to a social media toolkit and the We Can Do This Covid-19 Public Education Campaign webpage:

DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships 

Have a comment, question or looking for information? E-mail us at Partnerships@fema.dhs.gov