The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts June 1st -- and the week of May 7th through the 13th is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Before the threat of tropical systems begins to ramp up, now is a good time to refresh your memory on hazards and how to prepare.

The DC area is in an interesting spot in the Mid-Atlantic. We don't often see the threat of direct landfalls, but often get a glancing blow from a hurricane as it works up the east coast. Hurricanes can bring torrential rains, flooding, and damaging winds amongst other threats to the DC area. We live in a unique location near the coast with several waterways that also pose the threat of coastal flooding or surge in extreme events. For a look at past impactful hurricanes, read this article.

Preparing for hurricanes can be less stressful if you make your plan in advance. Here are things you should think about this week: Determining your risk, if needed develop your evacuation plan, assembling your disaster kit, write your hurricane plan down.

Determining Your Risk:
Risks in the DC area vary across location in intensity based on the track and strength of a storm. If you live near a body of water (Chesapeake Bay, Potomac or Anacostia River), think about inundation from storm surge. Area-wide, heavy rains can still lead to inland flooding and strong winds can lead to tree, power line, and property damage.

Develop Your Evacuation Plan:
If you live near the coast or the Chesapeake Bay, you could be asked to evacuate in certain cases due to the threat of rising storm surge or river/bay waters. Here's a link to a list of evacuation procedures by county and state. a

Make Your Disaster Kit:
A disaster kit should include items for all types of weather and disaster situations. You should include food/water supplies for at least 3 days for every person in your house, a first aid kit, and tools you may need (gloves, pliers, etc.) amongst some items.

*Often during disasters, power outages can occur. Stay alerted with the latest weather and emergency information easily with our WUSA 9 App. You can also buy a NOAA Weather Radio as a source for automated weather forecast information.

Lastly - write it down! Practice your procedures with your family, just like you'd routinely practice a fire drill in school.