RALEIGH (WTVD) --No major hurricanes have made landfall on a U.S. coastline in the last decade, and now Americans are now forgetting about the impact they can create, according to Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). "Kids [who are] ten and under have never been through a hurricane and they don't remember, and can't help Mom and Dad remember to get ready," she said.
This is a problem that multiple government agencies are looking to fix, and they are hoping a viral hashtag will do the trick.
FLASH has teamed up with the National Weather Service, FEMA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to launch the #HurricaneStrong social media campaign, aimed at increasing awareness and safety during tropical events. Another hope is that ample preparation before the storm will mean less impact during the storm.
"The hashtag is a meeting place for all of us on social media, so we can motivate each other, reward each other, remind each other and share. People have creative ideas out there, and we want to learn from them," said Chapman-Henderson. She and her crew say there are five steps you can take to make sure you are prepared should disaster strike.
- Know Your Evacuation Zone. Have a plan in place. Know where you will go and have a map or GPS handy to help you get away.
- Have a Disaster Supply Kit. Make sure you take enough food and water for three days. Flashlights with extra batteries, pet food, important documents, a first aid kit and electronic chargers are all must have items.
- Strengthen Your Home. Make any necessary repairs to ensure your home is structurally sound before a hurricane strikes.
- Get Insured. Make sure you get flood insurance, and remember there is always a 30 day waiting period, so the time to act is now.
- Help Your Neighbor. Once you have all of your ducks in a row, check on your neighbors who may need help.
What can you do?
"Strike a pose," Chapman-Henderson said. "We want them to do the hurricane strong pose and then put it up on twitter and hashtag Hurricane Strong, and share it because it's fun, it's viral and people are really buying into it."
Hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through November 30th.