With the end of Summer comes hurricane season. While Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes in the last few years have been relatively moderate, precedents like Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy still loom large. In fact, it is estimated that recovery from a superstorm of such magnitude could take up to 20 months. Regardless of how big or which category the hurricane approaching you currently is, it only helps to be prepared ahead of time. Here are some hurricane safety tips to prevent losses and to protect your loved ones.
1. Check the Path and Status of the Hurricane
Due to the nature of hurricanes, their paths can change rapidly depending on the surrounding air pressure and temperature. There were many past storms where the actual route ended up being entirely different from the expected route.
It is most important to keep up with the rapidly changing path of the hurricane to assess how your area may be impacted. If your area is expected to be hit directly by the hurricane’s path, you will have to prepare as much as possible. If your area is outside the path but where heavy rain is expected, you will have to be prepared accordingly in case of flooding.
The fastest and most accurate information about hurricane routes and all other tropical storms is available on Accuweather’s Hurricane Tracker.
2. Stay Indoors and Know Where Your Family Members Are
As is the case with all natural disasters, it is most important to refrain from going outdoors. In particularly dangerous disaster situations, such as hurricanes, there is no better safety precaution than evacuating indoors.
If a family member is in a situation where going out is inevitable or if they cannot physically be with you during the hurricane, make sure that you know where that family member will be. You must also prepare for situations where it may be difficult to reach them and figure out a way to be able to stay in contact. Just as identifying the path of a hurricane is the first priority when preparing for a hurricane, identifying the location of your family member is the first priority in ensuring their safety.
In case of dangerous natural disasters such as hurricanes, we recommend free location tracking apps to track the location of your family and to keep them protected. These apps detect your family’s location in real time and use various information such as GPS, Data, and Wi-Fi, so that location sharing is possible even in power outages. Also, certain applications such as iSharing have the ability to quickly notify family members in emergency situations, which can give your family a little peace of mind.
3. Evacuate to Safe Areas
Evacuating to a safer area is critical if you are in areas where you may be even more vulnerable to the dangers. Such areas include mountainous areas where there may be a landslide, or shores where you may be exposed to dangerous waves. Evacuating to an indoor space where you can avoid potential dangers is the best way to protect yourself. Also, avoid construction sites where construction materials may collapse and cause damage.
Additionally, even if you are out of the hurricane’s path, it is recommended to evacuate to a safe area if your indoor living spaces are vulnerable to flooding. Such areas include easily flooded areas, submerged spaces, and old houses and buildings susceptible to collapse.
If there aren’t good places for you to evacuate, find the nearest emergency shelter provided by the DHS. To find a shelter near you, use the DRC Locator or text DRC and your ZIP code to 43362. Example: DRC 01234.
4. Prepare Your Home
Hurricane safety tips of applying tape to windows or installing wet paper reinforcements have become common knowledge. However, in the case of an extreme storm, these methods may not be enough.
House windows are usually broken during hurricanes because strong winds shake the glass window too much within its frame. Preventing your window from shaking by inserting thick cardboard pieces or milk cartons between the window and the window frame is the best way to reinforce your window from shaking too much.
In addition, you should check the drains in your home to know that there is a way for water to drain out, in case that your home may be flooded. Also check the condition of your AC unit, roof, or any other parts of the home that needs to be extra secured. Make sure that outdoor furniture is also brought inside and packed.
Consider parking your cars somewhere safer if your regular parking spot is vulnerable to flooding. Water damage to cars can be seriously damaging to the vehicle’s functions and value.
5. Gather Emergency Supplies
Another important hurricane safety tips is to prepare an emergency supply pack. In case of a power outage, it is a good idea to prepare a flashlight, extra batteries, or candles., In case of a water shut off, store water in the bathtub in advance and buy enough bottled water for your family for at least 3 days.
In the worst-case scenario, you may need to evacuate swiftly out of your home. In such cases, it is necessary to pack emergency supplies in an easy-to-carry backpack that you can grab and go. Evacuation preparations vary depending on the situation, but it is usually recommended to pack 3-day’s worth of food and drinks, emergency medicine, personal hygiene products, blankets, and external batteries.
While we don’t know what will happen during natural disasters, we can reduce damage and protect our families safely by preparing in advance. After checking the hurricane safety tips above, prepare for the storm and keep your family safe.