With today’s technology and the advances of tomorrow, we are fortunate to have more knowledge than ever before about the path of an incoming hurricane.
Now, a hurricane watch is sent out when the hurricane is 48 hours away and a warning is sent when it is within 36 hours. Weather professionals are even making predictions of where a hurricane might make landfall days— or even a week— before it does.
If there is a good chance a strong hurricane will make landfall where you live, leaving sooner rather than later is a good idea. If you’re able to drive or fly somewhere inland to stay, this is advisable. Possessions can be replaced— lives cannot.
However, many people must ride out the hurricane in their home, for a great many reasons. If you must stay in your home during a hurricane it is essential you have a hurricane preparedness plan in place, as well as a plan on what to do during the hurricane. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Hurricane Tip #1: Stock Up!
If you have a generator as a backup power source for your home, stock up on gas. During Hurricane Irma in 2017, it took up to a week and a half before the power was back on to all Florida residents affected by the storm. You will likely need more than just a few days worth of gas reserves. If you don’t have a generator, consider purchasing a small camp stove for heating food when necessary.
FEMA recommends that when preparing for a natural disaster, a family should store one gallon of water per day per person for at least three days. For example, if you have a family of four, you would need to keep 12 gallons of water on hand. If you have any pets or family members who may come to your home to ride out the storm, stock more than the 12 gallons. There are also devices you can purchase to fill up bathtubs or sinks with water, but not exposing it to dust and dirt in the air.
Families with pets should also make sure they have plenty of food for their pets; most importantly, be sure to bring them inside, away from the elements. No pet should be left outside in hurricane-force winds.
Stocking up on non-perishable food is important. Use the perishable food in your home first, as well as items from the freezer. The food in the freezer will only stay good for so long if the power goes out, and you don’t have a generator for backup power. Then turn to your non-perishable items.
If anyone in your family is on a medication that is essential to their health, make sure you stock up on their prescription before a storm. Roadways may be blocked and it may be difficult for the pharmacy to fill their prescriptions after a storm.
Hurricane Tip #2: Stay Informed
During a strong hurricane, it is likely that the power will go out for a period of time. Make sure to have flashlights, extra batteries, and full charges on your phones. In the event that your phones should die or the phone service is interrupted, it is important to buy a battery operated radio (with backup batteries on hand) to make sure you receive any information put out by emergency management.
Hurricane Tip #3: Buckle down
Make sure that you stay indoors as the storm approaches. Even if there seems to be a break in the weather, it’s possible that you could be in the eye of the storm; dangerous conditions could start again at any moment. Here are some other suggestions for sheltering in place:
- Shutter your windows on the interior to your home to avoid broken glass and injury.
- Close interior doors— if there is damage to one area of your home, it won’t extend to undamaged areas.
- Take all family members and pets to an interior room with no windows.
- If possible, drag a mattress to the interior room you are in that can be used for protection in case of home damage.