Hurricanes wreak havoc where they hit, leaving many without supplies and without anywhere to go. But, if you prep for a hurricane, you can keep yourself safe and minimize some of the damages. Here are ten steps to prepare for a hurricane:
Make a plan ahead of time where you can stay in the event of a hurricane. Also, familiarize yourself with your area’s evacuation routes. Your local emergency management agency will also have advice for you on how you can keep yourself safe during an evacuation. If you choose not to evacuate, be sure to have canned goods on hand, fresh water, be prepared to lose power and for roads to be flooded and blocked.
Make a Survival Kit
These are the things that should be included in your survival kit:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cash money
- First aid supplies, such as Band-Aids and antiseptic
- Copies of critical information in case you need to evacuate
Make an Emergency Plan with Your Family
Because not everyone in your family will be together when a hurricane strikes, it is a good idea to make a communication plan. If there is a plan in place, then the family will know where to go and what to do in the moment that a hurricane warning is issued and there won’t be any confusion. Make sure that your family has these things planned out:
- How the family will get emergency alerts and warnings.
- Plan for a way to travel to a safe location.
- Establish how to contact each other if electronic devices fail.
- Create a meeting place for when it is safe to leave the house.
How to Prepare Your Home
During hurricanes, high winds are strong enough to take down trees. Be sure to trim the branches that are close to your house as hurricane season approaches, this way, damage to your home is much less likely. Also be sure to secure your gutters and clear them of debris. Then secure your roof, windows and doors with retrofitting.
Buy a Generator
A portable generator can be a life saver during power outages, but only if you do not get it wet. Make sure that it is as least twenty feet from the house and make sure that it is never plugged into a wall outlet inside.
Hurricane Watch and Warning
Be sure to review your evacuation plan and check in with your family on social media to make sure that everyone is safe or can arrive home soon. A hurricane watch means that the storm may come within forty eight hours and a warning means that it may come in thirty six. When these alerts come in, be sure to set the rules for communication and go through your safety kit to make sure that you have everything you need. Remove furniture and small objects from outside because in high winds, they could become dangerous projectiles. Also, if you are ordered to evacuate, do so.
When a Hurricane is Arriving Within Hours
Be sure to let your family and friends know where you are and give them continual updates. Close your storm shutters and make sure that your windows are fortified so that you are not in danger of being hit with glass if your window breaks. Make sure that you have plenty of non-perishables and open your refrigerator as little as possible. Get continual weather updates from the news.
After a Hurricane
Be sure to listen to updates so you know when it is safe to go home if you have evacuated and when you go home, watch out for fallen power lines and standing water. Both of these pose a risk of electrocution. Also keep in mind that only six inches of moving water has the ability to knock you down and a stronger current could potentially sweep your vehicle away. When you do get home, photograph the damages to your property for insurance purposes and do your best to prevent further damage using tarps and other utility items because insurance may not cover damage not caused by the storm.