Things to Do Before, During and After a Hurricane
How can you keep your family safe during hurricane season? Well, hurricane season is here and we have some tips for you and your family to stay safe. It is crucial to make the best preparations ahead of time, because preparing for flooding and protecting your home can be a tricky process. There are ways to be certain of protecting your home, utilizing a line of defense that can include plastic sheeting and sandbags. But with the amount of high winds and debris that is really unknown, homeowners can reduce the disastrous effects of home damage and flooding.Being prepared and knowing what to do are keys to minimizing hurricane damage.
Hurricane Prone Zones
Well, first we should consider which are hurricane prone zones and if you live in one of these. Of course, all coastal regions of the United States are subject to 90 mph wind speed hurricanes as are coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico; others regions include American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.
Hurricane Safety – Before It Hits
It starts with getting prepared way before the storm arrives. Other than boards of plywood to possibly block storm damages, there are also hurricane impact windows along with other permanent protections that can be made. To understand more about hurricane preparation and protection, here are some tips on preparing yourself and your family if hurricane winds and floods strike:
- Plan for Evacuation: The plan should be written and should detail where you and your family will evacuate, and especially how you will get there. Get the family emergency plan together and explain to family members in detail where to meet. Pick a safe location, and also, consider where your pets will go.
- Create a Hurricane Supply Kit: This entails stockpiling non-perishable foods, water, can-openers, necessary medicine, blankets, flashlights, batteries, a radio and extra carps
- Get Phones Ready: This includes having a landline or cord phone, solar powers USB charger, small generator;
- Safety Deposit Box: This is a storage box for personal property like photos and home videos
- Storage for Paper Documents: You will need waterproof envelopes for documents including but not limited to emergency and repair phone numbers, licenses, insurance policies, social security cards, photos of property
- Improve the Strength of your Home: Your home should be in good shape and meeting the local building code specifications for Hurricanes. This includes support bracing for garages and purchasing aluminum or plywood panels to protect doors and windows
- Have Insurance Policies Up to Date: At this stage, you should check with your agent to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or replace your homes structures
- Take Photos: You should have photos of your property to use for insurance purposes. If you have to file an insurance claim, it will help you immensely to have the photos
- Keep Extra Cash on Hand: you never know when you will need it.
During The Storm:
Have your radio on, preferably the NOAA Weather Channel or other official weather channels. Pay attention to weather bulletins! Also, it is highly important to let family members or neighbors know of your plans for evacuation. What poses the greatest risk in a hurricane storm?
It’s not the wind. It’s the water. Many people think hurricanes are wind storms but they pose a greater risk because of the rainfall – usually, it is substantial to say the least. With howling winds, rain that drives and pours and an additional threat of tornados, a hurricane can be a scary event.
During the storm, you should stay inside and away from any windows, glass doors or sky lights. If you find an interior room, make sure it is a closet or bathroom on the lower level of your home. If flooding happens, immediately turn off the main breaker’s electricity. If power is lost, make sure to turn all major appliances off such as the air condition, water heater, etc. Turning off these appliances will help reduce the damage that can happen from the storm. All electrical appliances should be shut down, and this includes the computer.
Protect yourself and do not go outside. If the eyes of the storm is over you, one side of the eye will be clam while the other side will have rapidly speeding winds that can increase the force of the hurricane. The wind will come from the opposite direction of the calm…the best thing to do is stay inside, because the wind can blow hard and you can be hit by flying debris.
There is also a big concern for the lightening that comes with the storm. Keep far away from electrical equipment. This can mean not using your cellphone and not taking a shower or bath while the storm is occurring. Most likely you will be asked to evacuate if you live on the coast or in a flood prone area (see above). An evacuation route should be researched and of course, making necessary arrangements.
After The Storm:
There are public shelters for people who have no place to go. By checking news broadcasts for shelter opening announcements, you can gauge which shelter is closest and in a safe location. In doing everything to make you comfortable, public shelters and shelter volunteers know that these are not necessarily the most comfortable places to stay. The best place to evacuate too are with relatives or friends, if this is possible.
There can be looming unanticipated hazards also that result from a hurricane. Because some people have ventured out after the storm too soon, they have been electrocuted. Downed power lines lying in water can be a particular danger.
By using a product called PACE, those who own homes in coastal regions or hurricane prone zones can lessen their fear of being caught in the next storm. Between the months of mid-August and mid-October, the atmosphere can experience hot air mixes and increase in moisture, which mars the Atlantic hurricane season peak.