News From Our Blog

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1 and ends on November 30.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 35 million people live in areas that can be affected by hurricanes.

The strong winds, heavy rains and flooding that go along with hurricanes can cause serious damage to property and endanger lives. Being informed about what to do before, during and after a hurricane can help you and your family stay safe and prevent property damage.

Before and during the storm

  • Be aware of any emergency alert signals issued by authorities
  • Get to know the evacuation routes and emergency procedures of the places you and your family frequent, such as school or your office building
  • Identify the most secure places in your home, which can be a room with few windows, a hallway or a basement
  • Find evacuation and emergency shelters for your neighborhood
  • Put together an emergency supply kit
  • Use shutters to cover your house’s windows
  • Make sure blinds and windows are closed

In case of an evacuation

  • Tune your radio to NOAA’s National Weather Service to know what to do and where to go
  • If you are away from your family, make a plan where to meet once the hurricane passes
  • Shut windows and doors and unplug any electrical appliances before leaving the house
  • Pack a bag with clothes, medicine, important documents, cash and your emergency kit
  • Drive only on roads that have been approved by officials and avoid taking shortcuts that could be hazardous

Returning home

  • Return home only when authorities say the danger has passed
  • Don’t walk or drive in flooded areas or unstable structures, such as bridges or alternate routes
  • Check the area outside your house before going in, as there could be loose power lines or other dangerous objects that aren’t immediately visible
  • Do not go inside if you smell gas or if there are signs of any flooding or fire as the home’s structure may be weakened
  • Take photos of any damaged areas to use when filing a claim with your insurance company

Resources

Read this note in Spanish.

Planning a trip this summer? Check the safety record of a bus company before you book a ticket or board the bus.

Planning a family road trip this summer? Use this guide to be sure you and your kids are safe while in the car: 

Talking to Your Children About Alcohol

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Drinking too  much alcohol increases people’s risk of health-related injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease and some types of cancer.

Drinking can often start at a young age (40 percent try it by 8th grade), and while talking to children and teens about the dangers of alcohol can be potentially awkward or uncomfortable, it’s a crucial conversation to have.    

It’s never too early to open lines of communication with your child, explaining the risks of alcohol use and expressing a consistent message that underage drinking is unacceptable and illegal.

Preventing underage drinking takes more than a single conversation. Being a good role model to your child helps them more than anything else.

For tips on what to say to your child, what you need to do with them, and resources on getting them help, you can download this guide.

Designate a Driver for your Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations

By David Friedman, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the rich history and culture of the Irish. Regrettably, it is also a day when many make the dangerous choice of driving after they’ve been drinking.

From 2008 to 2012, drunk driving claimed 268 lives on St. Patrick’s Day alone—an average of 54 deaths on each St. Patrick’s Day in the past five years.

image

Drunk driving is a crime—a crime that can rob families of loved ones and turn a day of celebration into one of mourning.

Safe driving is about personal responsibility. So, whether you’re planning an extended St. Patrick’s Day celebratory weekend, or just an outing with friends and family on Monday, plan ahead for a sober ride home.

Speak out, designate a sober driver, and share— with family, friends, and neighbors—the important safety message that drunk driving kills.

image

At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we take drunk driving seriously, and we need your help to make sure that your friends and loved ones do, too.

Please help us leverage the power of social media to warn of the dangers of drunk driving. On Wednesday, March 12, at 3 p.m. ET, we’ll be on Twitter — @NHTSA – sharing stats, tips, and ways to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day without drinking and driving.

To have the most impact in this fight to save lives, we need YOU to join us. Here’s how:

  • Follow @NHTSA on Twitter.
    When you see this hashtag—#buzzeddriving—retweet it to remind your followers that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

And, if you want to do more to fight drunk driving right now, here are a few ideas for tweets to share to get more people involved on March 12 to spread the word and save lives:

  • Don’t rely on luck to get you home safe this #StPatricksDay. Join @NHTSAgov on 3/12 @ 3pmET to talk about #buzzeddriving.

  • Get tips on how to stay safe this #StPatricksDay from @NHTSAgov. We’re joining their Twitter chat 3/12 @ 3pmET. #buzzeddriving

  • 91 people died from drunk drivers on #StPatricksDay in 2012. Save a life: join us and @NHTSAgov on 3/12 @ 3pmET. #buzzeddriving

  • Think a 4 leaf clover will get you home safe on #StPatricksDay? Join us & @NHTSAgov 3/12 @ 3pmET to find real safe ways home. #buzzeddriving

  • No matter how much green you wear, it won’t save you if you’re driving drunk. Follow #buzzeddriving & @NHTSAgov on 3/12 @ 3pmET.

The loss of life on St. Patrick’s Day—a day that should be about joy and celebration—is tragic. It’s also preventable, and it’s up to us to spread the word.

Help us let everyone know: it’s great to don the green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t even think about driving after you’ve been drinking.