If you live on the east coast, chances are that you will be hit by a hurricane and only by keeping your eyes on the local and National Weather forecasters you can stay safe and face well what’s coming. Even if you are following the forecasts 24/7 in order for you and your family to survive a hurricane, the first thing you have to do, is to educate yourself. It’s better to know in advance how to deal with a hurricane and acquire the knowledge of people who went through a hurricane experience.
The following tips will provide you with essential information as it is better to be safe than sorry.
- You need to check your home and establish the vulnerability to storm, surge, flooding and wind. These hazards could affect your family and it’s better to prevent and fix the vulnerabilities of your house. If you don’t know much about constructions you can always ask for the help of a contractor for a better evaluation.
- You need to know your surroundings and learn your community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find and get to higher ground. Your family should have a detailed plan of where to go and how to get there if you need to evacuate.
- Your house needs to have a safe room or a safe area for hurricane hazards and everyone should be aware of it and how to get there during a hurricane threat.
- You and your family should plan escape routes from your home, but most importantly places to meet. A hurricane may hit when the members of your family are not at home (work, school, etc.). It should contain places within a short distance of 10 miles or less in case you have to walk to the destination (especially for youngsters).
- Emergency telephone numbers should be placed in sight and your kids should know how and when to call 911.
- You and your family should take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes every time you have the chance. It’s better to educate yourself and be prepared, considering that some of these classes are free and are often organized by the local community.
- Secure your home so that it can withstand strong storms. Windows and doors can be boarded up in case of an emergency.
- Check your trees and shrubs around your house so that they are well rotted, they are well trimmed to resist high winds and that there aren’t any rotten trees. In high winds, trees and shrubs can become projectiles. Also, if you trim your trees and shrubs the right way, you won’t have to do much cleaning after the storm.
- Learn what the elevation level of your propriety is and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you to take the right decision based on how your propriety will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Make sure you have cleared loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts otherwise you will be flooded.
- It’s always good to have a ready to install generator in case the power goes out. You can buy a new one if you can afford it, or you can look for used ones to save some money (Craiglist could help).
- Secure all the important family papers and special items. Use plastic bags to keep dry your social security cards, birth certificates, titles or deeds to propriety and even insurance policies.
- Since the insurance companies are not always your “best friend”, make sure you take videos or photos of your propriety before you evacuate. It will help you a lot, later on with claims if your propriety has suffered any damage.
- When you evacuate, the safest stay will be with relatives in another town or safer area. Not to mention a lot cheaper. If you don’t have any relatives, make sure you have in your car a list with hotels and directions on how to get there. You will have to book a room and it’s better to be prepared.
- If you have pets, it’s best to not leave them behind as they are a family member, right? You and your family should have a plan for your pets. If you have to take them with you, make sure the motels or the hotels from your list are pet friendly. Check local shelters from safer areas, it’s better than boarding them in.
- Have a basic bug out bag ready in your closet for each family member: It should include clothes, sleeping gear (if you plan to go to a temporary shelter), food and water, commodity items (whatever your kids like) – it will help them deal better with the experience.
- You need to have a Hurricane Emergency Kit, regardless if you evacuate or if you are boarded in. It should contain: extra cash, batteries, flashlights, non-perishable foods, canned goods, a multi-tool knife, candles, prescription medicines or any other healing remedies you use regularly and of course items that are indispensable for your kids or small children (favorite toy, baby wipes, diapers, baby food, etc).
- If you own a boat you will have to plan ahead and determine how and where to secure it. A hurricane will be the end for your both if not secured properly and without a good insurance it will give your budget a big blow.
- Don’t go outside during the storm! There are many accidents happening because people want to take pictures or film the storm to post it on Facebook. Why would you risk your safety for that? Stay indoors and film from there, it is safe and dry.
- Stock up on plywood from time, it’s always better to stockpile it as it can be used for various purposes. Not to mention that it will be a hot commodity for those who will not evacuate. Even better if you can afford it, you can install plywood hurricane shutters.
Your chances of surviving a hurricane will increase if you learn this tips and apply them when the situation requires you to do so. You should share this article with your friends as this is important knowledge that someday, may save lives.
Stay Safe and Good Bless!
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