Communicating During a Hurricane: Staying Informed


Effective communication is crucial during a hurricane. Staying informed before, during, and after the storm can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety of you and your family. With advancements in technology, there are numerous ways to stay updated on the latest weather conditions and emergency information. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to stay informed during a hurricane, utilizing weather radios, apps, and social media.

Before the Hurricane

1. Monitor Weather Forecasts

  • Weather Radios: NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. It provides alerts and warnings for severe weather, including hurricanes.
    • Tip: Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA Weather Radio to ensure you receive updates even if the power goes out. Check this one out.
  • Weather Apps: Install reliable weather apps on your smartphone to receive real-time alerts and updates.
    • Recommended Apps:
      • NOAA Weather Radar & Alerts: Provides detailed weather forecasts and severe weather alerts.
      • The Weather Channel: Offers live updates, radar maps, and storm tracking.
      • AccuWeather: Delivers accurate forecasts and severe weather warnings.
      • Red Cross Emergency App: The all-hazard app for weather safety.
      • Texas Storm Chasers app

During the Hurricane

1. Stay Connected with Authorities

  • Local Emergency Services: Follow local emergency management agencies on social media and sign up for community alert systems to receive notifications about evacuation orders, shelter locations, and safety instructions.
    • Tip: Use the FEMA app to receive emergency alerts and information for your area.
  • Social Media: Platforms like Twitter and Facebook can provide up-to-the-minute information directly from local officials and emergency services.
    • Recommended Accounts to Follow:
      • @NOAA and @NWS (National Weather Service)
      • Local government and emergency management agency accounts
      • @texasstormchasers
    • Hashtags to Monitor:
      • #HurricaneName (e.g., #HurricaneIda)
      • #TXWX (Texas weather updates)
  • Text Alerts: Register for text alerts from your local emergency management office. Text alerts are an effective way to receive information when internet service is disrupted.

2. Use Group Messaging

  • Family Communication Plan: Implement your family communication plan to ensure all members are informed about their safety and whereabouts.
    • Tip: Use group messaging apps like WhatsApp or GroupMe to keep in touch with family and friends. These apps often work better than traditional text messages when networks are congested.

3. Backup Communication Methods

  • Satellite Phones: Consider having a satellite phone as a backup communication method, especially if you live in an area prone to severe hurricanes.
  • Walkie-Talkies: Use walkie-talkies to communicate with family members if you are in close proximity but phone lines are down.

After the Hurricane

1. Assess and Communicate

  • Damage Reports: Use local news channels and social media to stay informed about the extent of damage and ongoing recovery efforts in your area.
    • Tip: FEMA and the Red Cross provide apps that allow you to find open shelters and receive assistance.
  • Emergency Services Updates: Continue to follow updates from local emergency services regarding road conditions, power outages, and safety precautions.

2. Contact Insurance and Repair Services

  • Insurance Claims: Use your smartphone to document damage and start the insurance claims process. Many insurance companies have apps that allow you to file claims directly.
  • Repair Services: Stay informed about which local services are available for home repairs and debris removal by checking local business websites and social media.

Staying informed before, during, and after a hurricane is vital for your safety and well-being. By using a combination of weather radios, apps, social media, and backup communication methods, you can ensure that you and your family are well-prepared to handle the challenges posed by a hurricane. For more information and resources, visit NOAA and the FCC.

Remember, preparation and timely communication are key to staying safe during hurricane season. Stay connected, stay informed, and stay safe.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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