Post emergency personnel are calling for the Fort Jackson community to be prepared for hurricane season that officially begins Friday.

Ramon Domenech, Fort Jackson's emergency manager, said it is imperative for the community to be ready in case there are any emergencies.

"Hurricanes can affect our communities and lives in a plethora of ways," he said. "Prior preparation is key to mitigating those effects and increasing our chances of survival. Wind can destroy homes and facilities, damage power lines, and blow vehicles away. Rain floods roadways, sweeps vehicles off the roads, destroys bridges and damages properties.

Readiness can be achieved in many ways.

Families can prepare by enrolling in the Fort Jackson AtHoc system to receive "timely and accurate alerts as well as updates and information vital to safe guarding Families and property" and helping them avoid dangerous areas such as flooded roadways, he said.

The AtHoc system pushes emergency notifications through text messages, emails and phone calls.

The storage of food, water and fuel can be a necessity if power goes out, Domenech said.

"Prior to hurricane season families can prepare by buying and storing food, water, and fuel while ensuring gas stoves and generators are operational," he said.

When traveling a "Get Home Bag" can help a driver return home safely by having what they would need to survive.

Domenech added drivers should "ensure the bag is not excessively heavy and that it only contains essential items -- pack what you need, not what you want.

"Always keep in mind that your life may depend on how well you prepared...or not."

According to Ready.gov, the following tips can help people prepare:

Basic Preparedness Tips

• Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

• Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.

• If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

• Make a family emergency communication plan.

• Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word "alerts."

Preparing Your Home

• Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.

• Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

• Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.

• Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

• Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.

For more information on preparing for hurricane season contact Ramon Domenech, Fort Jackson's emergency manager at 751-4621, or via email at ramon.domenech.civ@mail.mil.

(Information for this article courtesy of Ready.gov)