Today marks the beginning of hurricane season – and with it, stories about hurricane preparedness. There’s no shortage of them, seeing as how we’ve recently capped off National Hurricane Preparedness Week. But there’s a psychology that underlies these regular events – something that tells us that since we’ve made it through other hurricane seasons intact, we’re prepared.
Dr. Walter Peacock, director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M, says preparing for a hurricane is more complicated than just clearing out of town when a storm is approaching. Emergency management officials give consideration to which areas may be hardest hit, and plan evacuations accordingly.
“Before we even decide if we need to get out of town, we need to know what our risks are, and the critical risk for hurricanes is surge,” Peacock says. “You really need to where your home is located relative to potential surge in your area. The county emergency management office on their website, different media outlets, and the grocery store have their hurricane preparation guides and the like for your areas.”
Peacock says that since we’re told all the time to be prepared for hurricanes, it can have a reverse psychological effect that keeps up from planning for it. It’s important to take the time to reevaluate your plan, Peacock says, even if you think you won’t need it.
“We come around to hurricane season every year, but that also is an opportunity as well,” he says, “working with your family, gathering that information, creating that emergency kit if you are going to need to evacuate, or if you’re going to need to stay in place in an area because you don’t want to get out on roads.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.