Hurricanes are one of the most devastating natural disasters to date. It can cause destruction and damage to properties, and if unprepared, it can also take lives. However, with today’s technology, hurricanes can be forecasted, giving you ample time to prepare to minimize its damages. With a short amount of time given before a hurricane hits, we’ve created a guide on how one can protect oneself from a hurricane.
Before Hurricane Season
Home upgrades are necessary to prevent or reduce damage to your property. It can also secure the safety of your family. There are several natural disaster preparation ideas for homes that experience occasional to frequent storms. Some of these helpful storm safety upgrades include installing impact-resistant doors, hurricane shutters, roof braces, and water barriers.
Issuance of a Hurricane Warning
A hurricane watch implies that weather conditions are right. However, it is no guarantee that the storm will show, but it is an excellent indicator that one will happen shortly.
A hurricane warning, on the other hand, is issued 48 hours before a storm is expected to hit a particular area. So, what’s the difference? A hurricane watch keeps people alert, while a hurricane warning indicates that the hurricane is expected and will most likely occur in one or two days.
If you get a hurricane watch in your area, immediately:
Tune into your local weather channel, news station, or weather apps for updates, and evaluate your evacuation plan in case of a hurricane warning.
Before Hurricane Hits
If you’ve received a hurricane warning in your community, immediately:
- Assemble a survival emergency kit that includes: non-perishable food and water for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, a first aid kit, and sleeping bags or blankets.
- Ready a communication plan in case you lose power or when the phone lines go down.
- Be familiar with your evacuation plan and take the route advised by your local emergency officials if you must leave home quickly.
- Make sure your gas tank is full and prepare emergency supplies in the car, including extra clothes. Park your car close to a building and far away from trees or power lines.
- Use permanent storm shutters to shield your windows. If unavailable, board your windows with marine or exterior-rated plywood.
- Securing fuel tanks and outdoor furniture, use sewer backflow valves, and take inventory of all your belongings in case of damage.
- Secure all essential documents such as personal identification like social security cards, birth certificates, and legal documents, as well as your health records. Keep these documents in waterproof containers and store them in higher places.
- Learn what warning sirens sound like in your area, and what you need to do when they go off.
- Fill large containers with potable water. Supply may be limited for up to a few days.
During a Hurricane
Once a hurricane arrives, you’ll have to depend on your planning and preparation to help you endure the storm. Here are a few key things to remember to keep you and your family safe during the storm.
- Stay away from low-lying that are at risk of flooding, and get indoors immediately. Never go outside unless necessary as high winds can be dangerous, and flying debris might be present.
- Stay only in rooms with secure windows and keep your curtains and blinds closed. If possible, take shelter in a place without windows while the hurricane passes.
- Turn off electricity if you advised to do so and turn your refrigerator thermostat to the lowest level in case you lose power. If you have to evacuate, shut off water and power valves.
- Stay on the second floor or an attic, if possible. Flooding can happen rapidly, so be sure to get there before it starts to flood.
- Keep your phone and a television or a portable radio with you. This will allow you to monitor weather reports and stay updated on any changing conditions and emergency alerts in your area.
- Above all else, stay calm. As difficult as it seems, remaining calm can help you think clearly, which is incredibly useful during stressful situations like a passing storm.
Always stay alert for continued rainfall and flooding even if the storm appears to be over. For the time being, avoid driving and stay off the streets unless you have urgent reasons. Watch out for downed power lines, since they can present an electrocution hazard. Lastly, inspect your home for any damage and take photos for purposes of any insurance claims you may file.
It’s hard to protect oneself against these natural disasters that can cause deadly destruction. However, you can avoid several problems through careful planning. Knowing how to protect yourself from a tropical storm can ensure the safety and well-being of your household. And don’t forget, a lot of this planning and preparation can be done during the dry season when you have time to think things through before the time to act comes. Know more about emergency plans.