A hurricane is a powerful storm that can wreak havoc on populated areas by bringing high winds, rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Hurricanes are a genuine threat, especially in areas with frequent hurricanes and coastal regions. When a hurricane approaches, there is often little time to evacuate. Many people do not even realize they should get out of harm’s way until it is too late and the hurricane has arrived, and then it can be too late to evacuate or find shelter. The best thing to do is get out of harm’s way on time.
Have a Plan
Come up with an evacuation plan that includes multiple destinations, the length of time you’ll be gone from where your home is located, and when you’ll be back. Ensure this plan is well communicated to all family members in an emergency. Do not forget about pets if you have any.
Prepare Emergency Supplies
It’s important to pack your emergency kit, so you have it handy in case of any emergencies. An emergency kit should include the following: a flashlight, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, canned foods, a manual can opener, bottled water, and portable water purifier, first aid kits, non-perishable food items from your kitchen pantry (casserole dishes or disposable pans), blankets or sleeping bags, change of clothing for each family member and sanitary products for each family member. If you have children be sure to have activities for them as well as books or games that can help keep them occupied.
Have a Communication Plan
It’s important to have a way for family members outside your home to reach you during the storm. This could be your cell phone, and it could be the landlines at your workplace or another friend outside of your home. Check with them to make sure they’ll be available to you during the storm, and if so, have a plan to make contact, so everyone knows how to reach each other.
Keep Your Car Ready
Ensure your car is in good running condition before a hurricane. The last thing you want is to drive home only to find that your car won’t start because it’s been ruined by salt water. Make sure you have a full tank in your vehicle or are available to fill your car at home or work if the power goes out. Buy heavy duty tarps to cover your car or truck. Cars should be parked against the garage doors in your garage or on higher ground. Avoid parking near power wires, trees, or other low-lying places.
Have Money in Cash
You never know if ATMs might stop working during a hurricane or extreme weather event, and chances are good that debit cards will also stop working during such an emergency. Keeping cash on hand is always good, but it’s even more critical during times of crisis when money is needed to pay for food and maybe even shelter if your home becomes uninhabitable during the storm.
Have an Emergency Broadcast System
Keep a radio or portable CD player with emergency information. This way, if there is no power, you’ll be able to keep up with local news and weather reports. In case of a possible storm during which the power goes out, it could come in handy as an emergency-alert source of information.
Secure Your House
Ensure to prune large trees and bushes to prevent them from falling and damaging your windows. All outdoor patio furniture, potted plants, bikes, and toys should be brought inside. If required, attach burlap or blankets with rope to secure outdoor sculptures. Use appropriate shutters and impact-resistant glass, and shield windows, doors, and skylights. You can tack pieces of plywood to window frames as a last-minute defense measure.
Insure Your Home
The same coverage that covers dangers such as fire, theft, and vandalism will apply if your home is damaged in a hurricane. Check with your agent to be sure you have enough insurance, so you’ll have enough money to repair or rebuild.
If your home is damaged in any way during the hurricane, make sure that you report it to anyone who has the authority to fix it. Be patient and avoid looting if possible because this will only cause more problems for you and the rest of your community. Please stay safe during the hurricane because you never know what may happen when it hits.