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Hurricanes can be scary and disastrous, but that doesn’t mean you cannot prepare for them. With the proper preparation, you can ready yourself for before, during, and after the storm. By knowing what to do in case of hurricane events, you can keep your family safe and sound. Please take a look at the list we’ve provided below of safety tips and tricks to follow in preparing for a hurricane, staying safe while it’s happening, and dealing with its aftermath.
What to Do Before a Hurricane
With prior warning, there are a lot of precautions you can take to prepare for a natural disaster. Here’s what to do in case of hurricane warnings, to help you prepare the best way you can.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Emergency kits are great for any type of disaster or emergency, but in the event of a hurricane, they can be vital. Your emergency kit should include at least 1 gallon of water per person (per day, for at least 3 days), a 3-day supply of non-perishable food, batteries and a radio, flashlights, a first-aid kit, whistles or flares, extra clothes, maps, medications (if necessary), supplies for your pet/s, and a warm blanket/sleeping bag for each person, according to FEMA.
Should you lose power or are forced to evacuate, your basic supplies should be ready-to-go. Including a disposable or digital camera with extra film/batteries could also be beneficial, to ensure you can document damage properly.
Make a Plan
Be sure to communicate with your family and discuss a plan that is understood by each member. Each member of the family should know their role and know exactly what to do in case of hurricane emergencies.
Educate Yourself and Secure Your Property
Try to figure out the elevation of your property, which areas are flood-prone, and determine which areas of your property will be most affected. Also, ensure that you know your community’s evacuation routes. You should cover all your home’s windows (preferably with permanent storm shutters or plywood). Remove all loose items from your property and exterior of the home, reinforce your garage door/s, and install generators. Preparing your home can help minimize damage.
A battery-operated radio is a great way to always get up-to-date information on emergencies. Listen carefully for instructions, and always follow your family’s plan as well as the community’s.
When Told to, EVACUATE
If there is ever an emergency-alert, advising you to evacuate, it is imperative you do so. Evacuations are only issued when the hurricane-threat is extremely dangerous and staying behind could mean risking your property and life.
What to Do During a Hurricane
It is essential to know what to do in case of hurricane emergencies, because quick-thinking is invaluable. When you’ve finished preparing and the hurricane arrives, follow these steps:
Always Stay Inside
If asked to evacuate, you should follow your community’s evacuation routes and remember to take your emergency kits with you. If you have not been asked to evacuate, you may not be out of danger yet. When the hurricane arrives, be sure to always stay indoors. Stay away from windows, doors, and other areas of the house that are more susceptible to damage. Try hunkering down in an interior room on the lower level of the home.
Do not go outside for any reason. According to The University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, there could be periods of calm, followed by periods of extreme wind and hurricane-force. It is essential to stay indoors unless alerted to do otherwise.
Turn off Your Electricity
Often in emergencies, it can be easy to panic and forget simple things. When the hurricane has arrived, be sure to turn off your electricity at the main breaker, to avoid fires and other dangers. Also, do not try to use any power-driven appliances or devices during the hurricane.
Don’t Forget Your Essentials
No matter where you are, whether it be hunkered down in your home or in an evacuation shelter, always make sure your emergency kits are easily accessed and can be easily carried with you in a moment’s notice. Use your kits sparingly, because it is better to be prepared for future-need.
Listen to Emergency Broadcasts
Emergency broadcasts will be your lifeline during a hurricane, especially when you have lost power. Having your radio handy can alert you to evacuations, rescue efforts, and tell you when the danger has passed. Always listen to these broadcasts for the most up-to-date instructions.
What to Do After a Hurricane
It can be hard to determine what to do in case of hurricane emergencies, after it has passed. Following these steps can help make for an easier transition after the hurricane has hit:
Keep Your Guard Up
Just because the worst of the hurricane is over, doesn’t mean all the danger has passed. Always listen to your broadcast system or the local news for the latest updates and follow instructions promptly. If you were asked to evacuate, only return when officials deem it safe.
Keep Away from Danger
Stay away from flooded areas, including roads and washed out bridges. Follow safety routes outlined by officials, and always stay away from loose power lines and electric wires. According to The American National Red Cross, you should avoid drinking or using water until you know it is no contaminated, check food for spoilage, and wear protective clothing during clean-up.
No matter how small the damage may appear, you should document and photograph every bit of your property and home. This will come in-handy when it comes to reporting your damage for insurance claims.
Start to Rebuild
For serious damage, you’ll want to seek professional help. For most people who have insurance, your hurricane-damage should be covered. Before serious construction can be done, you can ensure windows are covered with wood, and clean up the best you can. Try to keep all of your receipts, report your losses as soon as possible, and return all necessary claim forms.
Knowing what to do in case of hurricane disasters can mean the difference between life and death. With the proper preparations before-hand and the correct actions during the storm, you can endure and keep your family safe. Always remember to educate yourself, be prepared, listen to local broadcasts, and think smart.
What do you think of our hurricane preparation list? Feel free to share your emergency experiences and tell us what you would add.