When a hurricane hits, it’s too late to start preparing for one. If you know you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you ought to take action now to be prepared. Then, when the wind starts to pick up, you’ll know what to do, and you’ll have what you need to do it.
Plan the safest and quickest route to safety should a hurricane arrive. You may have a designated house for you and your family to meet at, or perhaps you’ll leave town altogether. Knowing your route before will allow you act quicker and more confidently.
Rendezvous Location & Designated Coordinator
Have a rendezvous point and a designated person to call and check in with so they know you’re okay. This person should be someone who lives outside your city who wouldn’t be affected by the same hurricane you are. This way, they are available to receive your call, and can account for all members of your family, or know who might be in trouble. If calling someone, it is best to plan a call once you know the storm is coming and again after it has passed.
Many people are unaware that their standard home or renter’s insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding. Flooding is common during hurricanes, even for areas away from the coastline. Purchasing additional flood insurance is a good investment for people living in areas at risk for hurricanes.
Store Important Documents in Protected Place
You’ll especially want to make sure you have protected copies of proof of ownership for your house. If you need to file insurance claims after your property sustains damage, you’ll need to prove the house is yours. If those documents are lost or destroyed during the storm, this process will be difficult.
Back Up Electronic Data
If your electronic devices (computer, phone, tablet, hard-drive, etc.) are damaged, you’ll still have your data available, which will save you a big headache.
Know When Hurricane Season Is
Be prepared by knowing when a hurricane is most likely to hit in your area.
- Atlantic & Central Pacific: June 1 - Nov 30
- Eastern Pacific: May 15 - Nov. 30
- Water (3-day, 1 gal/person)
- Food (3-day non-perishable food)
- Medication (7-day supply)
- First Aid Kit
- Flashlight and Extra Batteries
- Radio (battery powered, NOAA synced)
- Local Maps (Print, in case you cannot access digital)
When the Storm Is On Its Way
When the news comes that a hurricane is headed your direction, there is no time to waste. You’ll need to make sure you get these steps completed quickly and early, especially since other people will be scrambling to do the same. Wait too long and it will be too late.
Fill Car with Gas
You may have to evacuate, so you want to make sure you have plenty of fuel. Gas stations can run out of gas, and often do when panic of a natural disaster hits. Don’t delay your fill-up after hearing the news of an approaching storm. It may even be a good idea to fill some extra gas containers for the road.
Buy Any Supplies You Didn’t Already Have
Just like gasoline, supplies in stores disappear quickly when a storm approaches. It’s best to have what you need beforehand. But if you’re missing something, get there quickly.
Fill Bathtub for a Source of Fresh Water
You don’t know how the extent of damage that your house or city will sustain, and you can never have too much fresh water available. Many bathtubs can hold 60 gallons or more.
Board Up Windows and Doors
You can protect you and your home from possible damage by reinforcing the house’s weakest areas. The best wood is ⅝’’ marine plywood. If your house is equipped with built-in hurricane shutters, use those instead.
Anyone living in mobile home, near a river, or on floodplain should evacuate. You cannot reinforce your house enough to protect you and your home sufficiently.
During the Hurricane
When the storm actually hits, and if you’ve done the proper preparation, you’ll have what you need to jump into action. While there is always a risk of injury or damage during a hurricane, following these tips will give you and your family the best chance of keeping you and your property safe.
If Flooding Seems Possible, Turn Off Electricity
You don’t want to be in water with any damaged wires or circuits.
Go to Inner Area of House, Away from Windows, and Remain There
This is the safest place to be. You should try to store your emergency supplies around this area as well, so you have access to them without having to venture out of your safe area. Remain there until the storm has passed or local authorities have reported that it is safe to come out.
Mother Nature can wreak havoc when she wants to. But if you’re prepared with resources and a plan, you’ll have a lot less to worry about.
Share these tips for hurricane preparedness with those who need them, so they can be prepared too.