Weather

How To Prepare For An Approaching Hurricane- Be Safe Than Sorry!

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Written by David J Bates

You should be prepared in advance!

In case you are not, this is the best time to do it. I am sure you remember the destruction that was caused by the Hurricane Ike in 2008. A Category 4 storm that ripped apart homes, trees and other man-made structures. Causing a damage of 37.5 billion dollars, close to 195 people lost their lives.

Most of the items you would be stocking are nonperishable and will last you for years; you just need to do it once.

In 2005, the Hurricane Katrina hit America (at a speed of 104 – 119 mph approx.) that claimed at least 1,833 lives. The major portion of the city remained underwater for weeks and nearly 70% homes were damaged. It is the costliest hurricane ever.

Do you remember the devastating Hurricane Wilma? On 25th October 2005, it also hit the Florida, made landfalls in the continental United States.

How To Prepare For A Hurricane?

Being an experienced individual, I will share a few strategies about, “How to prepare for hurricane?” so that you can’t be caught off guard during this natural phenomenon.

“Hurricane Season Brings A Humbling Reminder That, Despite Our Technologies, Most of Nature Remains Unpredictable!”- Diane Ackerman

It is cent percent true that weather station safety devices cannot perform up to its potential or may become useless during a hurricane.

Above all, the best way to get robust information on any approaching natural phenomena is looking forward to the NOAA Weather Radio. This is a must have device if you stay in zones which are prone to similar storms.

About NOAA Weather Radio In Brief

With the collaboration of nearby National Weather Service offices, the NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts 24-hour weather reports.

Being able to provide the continuous weather information in the United States, it is the only supportive hand that provides the forecast details, warnings, local observations and information related to hazards during the cause.

You should consider to get one of these best weather radio for emergency purposes.

Apart from this, it also broadcasts natural disaster reports, national security statements and public safety statements (official alerts).

After getting notified by the government authority (U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Alert System) you should take immediate action according to the information provided by them.

Let’s Have A Look At The Strategies Of How To Prepare For A Hurricane

“When you gamble with safety, you bet your life!”

Hurricane season starts 1st June and runs till 30th November in the United States. According to the experts, you can do two specific things during the hurricane season for safety. Firstly, be prepared for the risk in advance. Secondly, act accordingly after getting an alert.

Situation 1: What To Do When You Get Stuck On The Way?

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During natural disasters, you might be driving back to home, going to the office or any other probable things. It is also possible that you are on the street, in a shopping mall and more.

If you get scared and lose hope, this can lead to creating more devastating situations. At this point of time, you have to keep patience, listen to emergency alerts and act accordingly.

Some of the things that one should definitely avoid include-

  • Don’t leave the place
  • If you are on the streets, find a safe shelter
  • Stay at your place
    • If you are inside a car, drive to an open area and stay inside. Listen to the NOAA weather radio and reach the nearby protected locations
    • If you are in office, school, home and other places, no need to go anywhere else
  • Don’t stand near a tree or small shops

It is always better to reach an area where a selective group of people stays together. As the things get recovered, you can disperse to your specific locations without making any hurdles.

Situation 2: When You Are In Home And Planning On Facing A Low Category Hurricane

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At this time, you have to make certain steps to avoid the troublesome situations if any low-category hurricane knocks your doorsteps.

1.Make A Family Plan

Sitting with your family members and discuss the matter with them can help in finding different escaping plans from the hurricane zone.

You should disclose the matter to your kids such that they too provide certain valuable suggestions (if that fits). Moreover, call your neighbor and hold everyone’s hand together for finding the answer to the question, “How to prepare for hurricane?” and get rid of it.

Well, you should make sure that everyone knows the safe evacuation route such that all have their own reach. Certainly, you can see the problems become minimal once you have discussed.

Other than this, you can even make the plan on a piece of paper and distribute the copy to everyone. Thus, no one forgets the plan and act accordingly (don’t forget to listen to the radio).

2.Verify Insurance Coverage

Many people do not realize when the insurance of homes and cars against flooding, hurricane and other natural disasters get expired.

If you are not sure about your stand, then you should verify the details. This ensures that your home and car insurance provider do not live you along the coastline during your troubles.

3.Install Safety Equipment

For any low category (1 or 2) hurricanes, there will be no need for evacuation from your home to the nearest evacuation shelters. A hurricane safety plans such as install safety equipment & reinforce the boundary walls, cut down trees & big branches and more is enough.

Find a reputed contractor or try the DIY methods of installing window sealers and other safety devices such that there will be no or at least damage to your property.

If you have an outside pet house and other valuable items, then keep them inside. Construct a new home for the pets like dogs and train them to stay in the re-located pet house.

4.Purchase Necessary Supplies

Whether you stay or go, it is imperative to purchase the necessary supplies from the market well in advance. Keep the supplies (in stock) such that there will be no problems if you get suffered from any low category hurricane on your doorsteps.

The best thing is that you don’t even need to bother with the stuff you want and wait for its buying by standing in a long queue.

Suppose government officials have ordered an evacuation, you can carry those supplies and bring to the new shelter for meeting the needs of your kids and family members.

A list of the supplies has been provided so that you can take a quick look and make your purchase without having a second thought-

  • Water (A gallon of water per day per person would be ideal)
    • Water purification tablets (iodine or chlorine dioxide)
    • Soft drink bottles
  • Food (Canned and Dehydrated)
    • Don’t forget for your babies
    • Don’t forget for your pets (if have)
  • Medicines
    • Pack of a week’s prescribed drugs (if required)
    • Bandages
    • Roll of self-adhering elastic bandage
    • Waterless alcohol-based sanitizer
    • Cold pack
    • Pain relievers
    • Diapers
    • Baby powder
    • Soap
    • Personal care products
  • Cash
    • At this situation, the bank cards might not work as you have experienced earlier
    • If you have no cash or change, it might become problematic to purchase any items during an emergency. So, withdraw money and change it.
  • Flashlight
    • Extra bulb
    • Extra battery
  • Portable Radio
    • Extra batteries
  • Protective packing materials
    • Keep all your vital documents in a safe place
  • Other supplies
    • Rope
    • Battery-operated clock
    • Matchsticks or butane lighter
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Toys for children
    • Detergent
    • Lantern
    • Ladders and more

Be realistic and don’t forget to preserve extra cash! Finally, you get ready with all necessary supplies in hand.

5.Make Copies of Vital Documents

No one wants to compromise on anything! Any issues related to the vital documents might let you in troublesome situation after the conditions get better.

Being a responsible US citizen, you should make copies of all the necessary documents and keep/store them on different locations safely. How?

6.Scan And Upload

This might be the best way to keep your documents safely. Just scan all your necessary documents and upload to your email. It not only makes them secure, but it can easily be accessed from any part of the world. Certainly, this also secures your future prospects (if any).

Situation 3: When Hurricane Is On Its Way And You’re Planning For Evacuation

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Apart from the strategies mentioned in situation 2, you have to make other vital decisions.

If the strong and powerful wind is heading your way, the first and foremost thought that comes to mind is deciding on whether to stay or go. When there is a high-intensity approaching hurricane, evacuation is always recommended.

Sometimes it is not safer to leave outside your zones until you don’t get an official order to evacuate the place. Though it increases the state of anxiety, you have no other options.

People with pets should find the nearby pet shelter for keeping their beloved pets safely and reach to a protected location for escaping from the damage to lives.

But, before you go, don’t forget these things-

  • Keep outdoor furniture, bikes and more in a protected area
  • Store all documents in a safe place
  • Use storm shutters for window protection
  • Trim trees and remove branches
  • Turn off gas oven, electricity supply and unplug appliances
  • Carry jumper cables and medical kit
  • Ensure that home insurance is valid and store in an appropriate place
  • Make sure your vehicle is covered with hurricane coverage
  • Take photos of home and car prior to leaving
  • Check tire pressure and fuel tank of your vehicle
  • Keep unnecessary accessories at home
  • Carry a working spare tire with tools
  • Map a route or follow as directed by the emergency officials
  • Even if there is traffic, follow their direction

I hope you understand. So, take ideas depending on your needs!

Other Problems

Sometimes hurricane brings flooding what people have experienced in 2012. One of the deadliest storms, the Hurricane Sandy slammed the east coast of America.

Due to its high-intensity winds, a total of 24 American states were badly affected. Particularly, the New York City lost around 53 people and most of the areas were flooded.

What To Do During Floods?

Remember the flooded areas will be in the high alert zone. So, don’t forget to listen to the radio broadcast of the NOAA weather radio!

Suppose you get stuck in a vehicle during the flood, it is recommended not to come out. Undoubtedly, you cannot drive properly. If you want to drive, there is a possibility of hitting the pools and spin off the road.

It is also likely to happen that the vehicle gets carried away by moving water, hits trees, drive into collapsed sections and more. As there is no perfect evacuation method, researchers say that sitting inside a vehicle has the greater chance of saving one’s life.

Bottom Line

If you act according to the hurricane safety tips, you can defeat a big troublesome situation that might come in your life. Depending on the necessity of leaving home, you have to make the decision and safeguard your belongings!

On the other hand, keep listening to the weather radio station and get updates on regular basis.

About the author

David J Bates

David J Bates is a veteran hiker from Russellville, AR. In his free time, he likes to study synoptic weather charts and other information related to hiking and publications related to Meteorology. Being a member of the local weather club he likes to share his knowledge with smart people and prolific hikers.

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