20 Tips for Staying Safe During a Hurricane
The threat of a hurricane can be scary for those living in hurricane-prone areas along the southern and eastern coasts of the United States. As a hurricane makes its way toward land, residents of these areas are faced with the unknown. The possibility of losing their homes, the destruction of their property and the physical danger to their families are genuine risks.
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, which caused massive destruction in the Bahamas and damage along the East Coast of North America, the need to be prepared for extreme weather is clear. If you live in a hurricane zone, there are certain preparations you can make beforehand to help protect your home and your family. Making preparations before a hurricane hits and knowing what to do during and after a big storm can give you and your family the best chance of coming out safe and sound.
20 Tips for Hurricane Safety
Recent hurricanes like Katrina, Sandy, Irma, Harvey and Dorian left a trail of devastation. But unlike other extreme weather, hurricanes can be tracked several days in advance. Tracking gives residents living in the storm’s path some time to prepare and take the necessary precautions. Still, you never know when a hurricane will hit. While September is the most common month for hurricanes to touch land, hurricane season actually runs from June through November.
Are you concerned about hurricane safety? Do you have a safety plan for before, during and after a massive hurricane? Read on to learn how you can keep your home and family secure during a dangerous storm.
Pre-season Hurricane Preparation Tips
Create a hurricane emergency kit. Have an easily transportable bag or container ready to go with the necessary supplies you might need in an evacuation. Some useful emergency items include a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, tools, cash and medications.
Have an evacuation plan. If you must evacuate your home, all family members must know exactly what to do and where to go. Assign each family member a role and establish a designated meeting place. Make sure your family is familiar with the evacuation route in case communication is impossible.
Organize your important documents. Valuable documents such as passports and birth certificates should be kept in a waterproof folder that is easily accessible and in a known location to all family members.
Stock up on food and water. You never know how destructive a hurricane will be and what resources will be unavailable. Include a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water with your emergency kit. Be sure to have several day’s worth of supplies for each member of your family.
Prepare your home. The best time to make sure that your home is as safe and secure as possible is before hurricane season hits. There are many precautions you can take to fortify your home in advance, such as obtaining comprehensive insurance, purchasing supplies to reinforce doors and windows and installing a generator.
What to Do During a Hurricane Warning
Reinforce windows and doors. Secure windows, doors and other openings with plywood or specialty storm shutters to increase their stability. Windows and doors are especially susceptible to high winds and floodwaters.
Fuel up your vehicles. Be sure that your vehicles have a full tank of fuel before the storm. In the event that you must evacuate, you will be able to leave the area quickly without worrying about gas shortages along the evacuation route.
Sign up for hurricane alerts. FEMA and local authorities will issue hurricane notifications and updates. Make sure that you sign up to receive these alerts, so you are kept up-to-date on evacuation requirements and procedures.
Clear large outdoor items. Take preventative measures by removing or securing outdoor furniture, large branches, trash cans or any other loose items that could become hazards during high winds and heavy rains.
Have all emergency and food supplies handy. Your emergency kit and food supplies won’t be any good if they are not easily accessible. Make sure that you keep these resources in an easily accessible location where they can be quickly grabbed if needed.
What to Do During a Hurricane
Evacuate when ordered. Always abide by calls to evacuate your area immediately. Do not think you can outlast the storm. Evacuations are called for a reason – to keep people safe.
Stay away from windows and doors. Winds and floodwaters can break windows and blow in doors. Secure yourself in an interior, windowless room that is on the lower level of your home.
Do not go outside. Wait until you get the all-clear from authorities before going outside. Remember that calm weather does not always indicate that the storm has passed. It can mean that you are in the eye of the storm and that there is more to come.
Avoid contact with electrical devices. The risk of electrocution is high during a hurricane. Turn off large appliances and avoid anything with an electric current until given clearance from the authorities.
After the hurricane has passed, there are still many safety threats that residents face as they return to their homes and communities. Follow these basic rules after a hurricane:
- Wait for clearance from authorities before returning to your home.
- Avoid walking in flooded areas.
- Avoid driving in flooded areas.
- Avoid downed power lines.
- Take care when re-entering your home for weak floorboards and crumbling roofs.
- Do not drink tap water.
Be Prepared for the Next Big Hurricane
A hurricane can be devastating. Be sure that you take precautions before hurricane season starts by gathering the necessary supplies, creating a plan and fortifying your home. Preparation and knowledge are the keys to keeping your family safe and your property secure.
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