Newswise — Ocean Springs, MS – June is the official start of the hurricane season for the Gulf Coast. Designed specifically for homeowners, the Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters is a critical resource for anyone wanting to reduce the risks to their family and property from natural hazards. The handbook covers essential information on emergency preparedness, evacuation planning, flood/wind insurance, and steps to protect life and property.

Mother Nature can be intense and devastating. People living in coastal states should be aware of the threats that natural hazards, like hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes, cause. It is impossible to eliminate all potential risks, but there are many small and cost-effective steps to prepare better. The homeowners handbooks include many of these tips.

Purchasing a home is a major milestone for many families and often their largest investment. The information compiled in the handbooks come from leading organizations in the fields of preparedness, recovery, and construction. Handbooks tailored to each state provide tools to help strengthen homes and prepare for and recover from disasters. Taking action, families can reduce the risk of experiencing loss or damage from a storm. They can learn what to do if disaster strikes.

The Homeowners Handbooks are published by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance), a partnership of federal, state, and local organizations that share a vision for healthy and resilient communities. A key Alliance priority is to increase coastal community resilience to natural hazards. Handbooks are specific to each Gulf state. The project is an ongoing collaboration with the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant college programs and their partners. Electronic copies of the Homeowners Handbook are available at