We’re now about six weeks into this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season—it started June 1st—and so far, so good. The National Hurricane Center is reporting near normal activity, and Hurricane Chris, which is now churning off the Carolina coast, is unlikely to make landfall in the U.S. But that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down or not know the potential risks associated with tropical weather events. It means just the opposite. You should take this time to improve preparedness and fully understand the hazards (and protective measures) identified within your local mitigation plan.

A mitigation plan, as explained by FEMA, can “provide an idea of what is most at risk in a natural disaster, and indicate what can be done to reduce or prevent losses of life and property.” It also outlines long-term strategies communities can do to increase their overall resilience. And, if current (plans expire every five years), it can make state, tribal and local governments eligible to receive certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance to support mitigation projects, including safe rooms, levees, sirens, emergency notification systems, etc.

As brutal as the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season was, with its 17 n