Practical Tips to Survive a Hurricane
Anyone who has witnessed a hurricane for themselves will tell you: they are nothing to play with. From the 100mph winds ripping roofs off houses to the multiple feet of rain and flooding, a strong enough hurricane can destroy an entire community and ruin the lives of the unprepared.
If you currently reside in or are thinking about moving to a hurricane hotspot, you need to always have a plan in place or a sudden hurricane occurrence. All Atlantic seaboard and Gulf Coastal areas are in danger of sudden hurricanes, especially during the hotter summer months. “Hurricane Season” begins June 1 and ends November 30.
What Is A Hurricane?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration define a hurricane as a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organized thunderstorms but no fronts. A hurricane is the name of a tropical cyclone once it reaches a maximum sustained wind of 74mph.
Hurricanes are categorized by a scale of 1 to 5 called The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. As the storm’s maximum sustained wind speed increases, the hurricane’s category increases. You could survive a category 1 hurricane with mediocre preparation and some luck, but going into a category 2 or higher unprepared could be a fatal mistake.
Before The Storm
Find Out What You’re Dealing With
Knowing how strong the hurricane is will determine your plan of action. If it’s only a category one you probably don’t have to worry about stacking up on months’ worth of supplies, but if you go into a category 4 or 5 with only a couple days worth of supplies you’ll be in big trouble.
Stock Up on Supplies
During the storm you will be stuck in your house for days or possibly even weeks, so you need to make sure you store enough food for you and your loved ones to survive. Along with enough easily preparable food to last a few weeks, some other emergency supplies recommended by Direct Energy to stack up on include:
- First aid kit
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- Moist towelettes
- Garbage bags and food storage bags
- Dish soap
- Aluminum foil
- Paper plates and cups and plastic utensils
- Flashlight and tool kit
- Mosquito Repellent
- Rain gear
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Grill, charcoal, lighter and lighter fluid
- Manual can opener
- Fully-charged cell phone
- Strike-anywhere matches
Secure your home
Strong winds and heavy rain can leave your home in ruins. Install storm shutters on all exterior windows, install roof clips to prevent it from flying off, clear out your rain gutters and trim any trees or bushes that could pose a potential threat if picked up by wind gusts.
During The Storm
Don’t Leave Shelter
Once the storm hits, it’s too late for evacuation. Most of the casualties during a hurricane occur when people go outside thinking it’s safe then get caught in a storm surge. You must stay where you are and get to the safest possible location inside until you hear from the proper authorities that the storm has passed.
Hurricane Safe Locations
Even when in a shelter, some places are safer than others. During the storm, you want to be away from windows, skylights and glass doors. The best places to stay are interior rooms, closets or hallways on the lowest level of the property. If trapped in a building due to flooding, retreat to the highest level of the building.
Stay Away From Water
A downed electrical line could be electrifying puddles of water without you realizing, which could lead to fatal consequences. Tap water could be contaminated with bacteria due to damages to the city water supply, so drinking or showering with tap water is not recommended.
After The Storm
Tend To The Injured
If someone was injured during the storm and was unable to get help, once you’ve been given the okay to leave the shelter to take anyone injured to a first aid center.
Volunteer In Your Community
Wear the appropriate clothing and check for other hazards you see such as a downed power line or a broken water main. You should be proactive in volunteering for your community after this disaster, especially if there are people still in danger.
In Louisiana, a group named the Cajun Navy was formed after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and since then they have helped out in multiple other disaster situations. They were able to rescue thousands during the few years they’ve been active, use them as inspiration to get up and help those in need in your community
Follow all the tips given in this article and you will certainly be able to keep yourself and your family safe. Good luck to anyone preparing for a hurricane, and be careful.