Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

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Be Preparedness Ready

The Atlantic Hurricane Season & Arkansas

Although Arkansas typically does not have a direct impact from a hurricane, it is common that inland communities are threatened as a storm moves away from the coast. Storms of hurricane intensity may bring high winds, flooding, and power outages to areas away from the coastline, including our state. In 2020, Hurricane Laura showed Arkansans that storms can reach our state while maintaining hurricane strength. You can be Preparedness Ready, by planning and using protective measures to prepare for the potential impacts of hurricane season!


The Atlantic Hurricane Season affects the Atlantic basin. The area includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Storms generated in these areas tend to have effects over the Southeast region of the United States, including Arkansas.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

Is it a Hurricane?

The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness if:

  • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that your region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
  • A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours in your area.

What Should I Do to Prepare?

We urge everyone to become “Preparedness Ready” for any urgent situation, which means assembling an emergency kit, making an emergency plan, and being informed.

In addition, people with disabilities, and their caregivers, may benefit from the tips below about managing communications, equipment, service animals and pets:

  • Meet with Your Family/Personal Care Attendants/Building Manager: Review any community hazards that you are aware of (there may be some that are unknown to you) and discuss your family’s emergency plans.
  • If you have a communication disability make sure your emergency information says the best way to communicate with you. If you use an augmentative communications device or other assistive technologies, plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if lost or destroyed. Keep model numbers and note where the equipment came from (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.).
  • If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about how you can prepare for its use during a power outage.
  • Be prepared with food, extra water, ID tags, veterinarian records, and other supplies for your pet or service animal.

Emergency Preparedness Resources:

Here are FEMA YouTube videos you can view and share with others to learn about the preparedness:

We Prepare Everyday (Video with open captions, ASL and audio description)
Plan Ahead for How to Deal with Disasters During Coronavirus (Video)
Be Informed (Video)
Make A Plan (Video)

About the Arkansas Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Council is a federally funded state agency that promotes integration, inclusion and independence for Arkansans with developmental disabilities. Council members are self-advocates, relatives and/or caregivers of individuals with DD, state agency directors, and representation from nonprofit and private organizations. The Council works to encourage self-advocacy; to remove barriers to information, services and support; to advocate for policy changes; to develop and support coalitions; and to educate community leaders. For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, browse more pages on this website, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar. You can also find Arkansas GCDD on YouTube.