With hurricane season right on top of us and natural disasters wreaking unprecedented havoc in recent years, preparedness has never been more important.
Equip yourself with all the necessary disaster know-how with this complete hurricane survival guide.
Hurricane Survival Guide | 5 Things to Remember to Keep Your Family Safe for Hurricane Season
1. Come Up with a Plan
Planning for hurricane season, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic still amidst us, can be extremely stressful. However, it is during these times that making the necessary preparations is even more critical.
Start by familiarizing yourself with the lay of the land.
In the North Pacific, hurricane season often begins in the middle of May. In the Atlantic and Caribbean, it starts in early June. They often end before December comes in.
This knowledge should help you keep a schedule for your hurricane preparation plans. It will tell you when it’s time to start buying emergency food or maybe start securing the roof of your home and checking for leaks.
Next, write down emergency numbers in your local area and keep them where they’re always visible. Preferably, have them listed down near your phones and program them into your mobiles as well.
It is also good to know where the nearest emergency shelters are. More importantly, make sure to map out the routes you can take going there in the event of flooding.
Remember, you cannot stop an incoming hurricane or tropical storm. You can, however, take steps to make sure you and your family are protected should it come.
2. Understand Storm Categories and Weather Alerts
Knowledge is power. When it comes to surviving a hurricane, it is important to keep yourself informed about possible incoming hurricanes and the different categories and alerts that are typically broadcast about them.
You might hear alerts on your local news channel classified into two. These include:
- A hurricane watch – These are issued when there is a possibility for a certain area to experience hurricane conditions (those with sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour). Authorities typically issue this type of alert 2 days before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (those with sustained winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour) to begin.
- A hurricane warning – These are issued when hurricane conditions are already expected in a certain area. Authorities often announce a hurricane warning 36 hours before the expected arrival of tropical-storm-force winds.
Furthermore, you can also consult the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It details the different hurricane categories, the strength of the winds they bring, as well as the expected damage they’ll cause.
If you’re listening to the news and you hear that a Category 2 hurricane is coming, you know that trees may be uprooted and power outages are expected. With that, you can prioritize trimming your tree branches and charge mobile devices and power banks.
3. Know What Supplies You’ll Need
No hurricane survival guide would be complete without a list of essential items you should stock up on. These include:
- First aid kits
- Emergency power sources
- Emergency food supply
- Water or a water filtration system
- Fire extinguisher
Water is your number one priority in any disaster scenario. If you can, try to store 1 gallon per person per day for every member of your household. Purchase clean drinking water from your local grocery, or store some in containers if you are on a budget.
When it comes to food, buy foods that will last for at least a few months. You can start building an emergency food supply months before the start of the hurricane season. Check on this now and then and rotate out the ones that are close to their expiry date.
Make sure to take note of any special food or medication needs members of your family might have. This is especially true if you live with children or senior citizens at home. If you can, get food that the members of your family love. This will help boost morale, which is especially important to maintain during disasters.
Additionally, make sure to secure important documents such as passports, IDs, and other medical documents. Should you need to evacuate, it’s important that you can easily bring these along.
4. Ready Your Home
Start by running through the emergency plan with the entire family. Make sure to orient everyone, especially your kids, about what to do in every scenario.
It would be best if you also cleared your yard of anything that could blow around and cause damage to your home. Move all lawn furniture, grills, bikes, propane tanks, and other building materials inside your home. If your house has trees, you should also cut off branches that may snap during the hurricane.
If necessary, cover up windows and doors as well. You can nail strips of plywood on the outside window frames to protect them from flying debris.
Be ready as well to turn your house’s power supply off. If you see downed power lines, flooding, or if you need to leave your home, make sure to switch the power off.
5. Prepare for Evacuation
The last tip on this hurricane survival guide is to always be ready to evacuate. Authorities will typically announce this on all news channels, whether it be tv, radio, or social media. Keep your ears open for such news.
If you own a car, make sure to fill the gas tank at least a day before the hurricane is expected to arrive. Move them into your garage or anywhere covered once the hurricane hits. It is also a good idea to keep a separate emergency kit inside your car.
As soon as you hear authorities telling you to evacuate, do it. Grab your emergency kit (if you don’t have one in the car) and take only what is truly essential such as chargers, IDs, cellphones, and cash. Turn off your house’s main power supply as well.
Follow the roads you mapped out before the hurricane. Make sure to listen to the radio for updates, as well as some roads may be flooded or blocked by debris.
No hurricane survival guide would be complete without a list of must-have items for your family. Make sure your hurricane survival kit is complete with this video courtesy of DropForgedSurvival:
You cannot stop an incoming hurricane or tropical storm, but you can control how you react to it. Make sure you’re prepared for even the worst hurricanes by following the hurricane survival guide above.
Do you have questions about our hurricane survival guide? Ask them in the comments section below!
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