A hurricane is a tropical storm that is characterized by very strong winds, heavy rain and in many cases flooding. Hurricanes are rated according to the wind speeds and damage they cause to buildings and nature. They can be devastating if you are caught unprepared. Hurricane safety should be considered in every household and the following are some things to consider. Having a family plan for a hurricane is important should you experience a significant hurricane storm, you’ll be very glad you were prepared.
Always pay attention to hurricane predictions and warnings~Every time a hurricane approaches, warnings are sent out to the residents nearby to either secure their homes or evacuate the area. Do not wait to see evidence that the hurricane is coming such as watching for dark clouds forming or waiting for the wind to pick up before you realize there is a danger. Think ahead and consider what you need on hand should a hurricane approach your area. We often have repeated warnings during hurricane season and thankfully most storms do not amount to anything of real concern; however, do not become complacent and take each warning seriously.
Consider building a safe room~Having a secure place that you can stay and remain in during hurricane is always a good idea. Stock your safe room with non-perishable food and canned goods, basic toiletries, flashlights, batteries, a battery-powered radio and other essential items to sustain you and your family while you wait for the storm to pass or worse need to wait for rescue help. It is a good idea to always know where the nearest evacuation center is in your area and your local media or emergency broadcast system will provide the correct information to you and your family about the safest evacuation location.
Have hurricane safety checklists in place~When facing a hurricane and having to leave your home in a hurry, it might be difficult to take with you all important household items because of the high pressure of the situation. It does help to have a list of essentials such as legal documents, a First Aid kit, basic food stuff, cell phones, glasses, identification for each family member and of course wallets. Pre-package as many of these items as possible and have the list of other items you’ll need to retrieve quickly. You will be able to have each family members necessary items quickly and know you’ve taken all necessary items such as medications. Don’t forget a few of your young one’s favorite toys as this can go a long way in comforting a child in an emergency.
Practice your hurricane escape plan with your family~Every household should not only have a fire escape plan but also a hurricane safety plan. You should know which exits to take, the nearest safe area to go to and at least a backup residence, maybe with your extended family member or close friend that can accommodate you in times of trouble. Do not assume your major traffic routes will help you leave the area quickly. High traffic often causes significant traffic problems so have an alternative choice if possible.
Teach your children about hurricanes and keep them calm~There are countless resources for kids about hurricanes and it is a great idea to talk them about hurricane safety before they experience a storm. Your child will be much more prepared and it can reduce the stress they feel.
If you cannot evacuate your home during a hurricane, stay away from doors and windows~Secure your home with protective barriers on your roof, windows and doors to minimize the damage, and then stay in the lowest and smallest room in your house during the storm. Upstairs rooms are dangerous because the storm is strongest in the higher levels of a building. Lie on the floor underneath the sturdiest table or another object.
Unplug all electrical appliances before the storm strikes~Hurricanes come with plenty of rain and the wind, which may lead to short circuits and electrocution if the water comes into contact with electrical appliances. Do not only switch them off but unplug everything and keep away from electricity outlets to prevent shock.
Remain where you are until the authorities announce that it is safe to go out~Many times people have been deceived by the lull that comes before the hurricane fully subsides since it is usually calm and feels safe. Do not leave your home or shelter until you receive the word that the worst of the hurricane is over.
Following this advice can keep you and your family safe during a hurricane.