When a hurricane is making its way to you, there’s no real way to stop it. Since there’s no real way of preventing a hurricane other than living somewhere without them, it’s important to start planning.
Before that tower of high-speed winds descends on your home, here are a few strategies you should use to get prepared.
READY YOUR ESSENTIALS
Packing your essentials should be your first step in any strategy. Being ready to leave at a moment’s notice is key to any plan involving hurricanes. You never know when an evacuation is necessary, after all. Pack all of your primary essentials before any sentimental items. Essentials include the likes of:
- Clean Food and Water
- First Aid Manual
- Sterile Gloves
- Clean Cloth
- Clean Bandages
- Clean plasters
- Antihistamine Tablets
- Skin Ointment
- Bug Spray
- Safety Pins
- Medical tape
- Digital Thermometer
- Extra Clothes
- Solar Power Bank
- Extra Batteries
- Identifying Documents (Passport, ID, Will, etc)
- Portable Fire Extinguisher
ACCOUNT FOR FAMILY AND PETS
If you have any handicapped family members, ensure that your essentials also include anything they need. Things such as crutches, insulin shots, heart medication, and other essentials for health are ready to go at a moment’s notice. For pets, it depends on their size. A large pet should be leashed when you decide to evacuate. Before that though, it’s probably better if you leave them at a pet shelter before the hurricane even hits. Check your local area for pet shelters that can house them. For small pets, make sure their cages are clean and sturdy.
PREPARE FOR EVACUATION
Once you have your essentials packed, make sure you have some form of transportation ready. If you own a vehicle, make sure that it has a full tank of gas, especially during a hurricane warning. Check for any issues regularly because the last thing you want is to have car troubles in the middle of a storm. A mechanic should be doing the checking for these issues. If you do not have a car, get in contact with someone you know who does and see if they can assist you.
Before you leave, make sure your car has these in the trunk:
- Spare Tires
- Spare Gas
- Gallon Bottles of Water
- Car Phone Charger
- Blankets and Pillows
- Reflection Triangle/Signal Flares
- Map of your local town
- Jumper Cables
- Sand (for traction)
Once inside the car, do not attempt to go through any flooded areas. Floods as high as your ankles have been known to cause issues in cars. In case a power line falls onto your car, do not under any circumstances escape your car unless it is in danger of exploding. Do not touch any metal parts as this could electrocute you.
Alternatively, if you live alone, a bike is sufficient, but only if the winds are less than 20 mph. Make sure to travel on high roads and avoid brute-forcing through flooded areas.
PROOF YOUR BUILDING AGAINST HURRICANES
Whether the hurricane is nearing your city or just a possibility on the news, hurricane proofing your building is a must. There’s always a chance that evacuation becomes impossible, and in such cases, you mustn’t risk going out into the stormy streets. Instead, do your best to hurricane-proof your building. Things you should be doing are:
- Cover all windows and openings with strong wooden planks or storm shutters. Nail them firmly in place. The goal is to ensure no winds enter your home and send things flying.
- Turn off your power if there is a danger of flooding or the hurricane is very near your home. Open power lines are a huge hazard, and if any electronics get flung about, you don’t want them starting a fire.
- Any essentials you packed for evacuation should also have extras stashed away in your home, especially water, food, and first aid supplies.
- Look around your home for any dangerous debris before the hurricane hits. Store all of your gardening or construction equipment in locked cabinets and sheds. Glass, rocks, and metal shards should be properly disposed of in a container that won’t get easily carried by strong winds.
- For businesses and homes alike, always check water leakage it is important to have a safe and uninterrupted water supply during emergencies
STAY UPDATED ON THE NEWS
Whether you’ve evacuated or stayed at home, you should always have a way to get updates on the news. Your phone should be fully charged at all times. Don’t waste your battery on games or other distractions. Use it purely as a means of getting updates on the hurricane situation. Most phones also come with battery-saver modes to extend their lifespan even more.
The best news sources to follow are the ones in your local area. Follow your local authorities on social media for updates. Additionally, purchase yourself an emergency radio just in case the internet provider in your area gets caught in the hurricane.
This article is far from an all-in-one preparation manual, but these strategies should be among the first things you do. These baseline strategies are the key to improving any other hurricane and calamity plans you may have.
Take into account any local concerns in your planning. Do you live in a low-lying area? If so, make sure to move all of your essentials to the second floor. For those in open areas, installing lightning rods are a great way to mitigate the chances of being struck by lightning. Every place is different, but the core of your strategies should always be safety first.
Guest Contributor: Bash Sarmiento