Be Prepared During Hurricane Season
National Preparedness Month is over and we are in the middle of peak hurricane season. Hurricane Dorian has already wreaked havoc on the Bahamas and threatened the southeast coastline of the United States and this is just the start. Over the next few months we need to prepare to have more hurricanes damage our country and displace our people.
If you live in an area that is often threatened by hurricanes it is important that you are constantly prepared throughout the months of June to November. While meteorologists are often able to give us warning for when a hurricane will hit land, they can still sometimes happen extremely quickly and with little warning.
You should always make sure that you have an evacuation plan and an emergency supplies kit. These will allow you to be able to spring into action at a moment’s notice.
When you have been warned that a hurricane is approaching, NFPA recommends doing the following:
- Prepare your evacuation plan, including pets, transportation routes, and destinations.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed, and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
- Stay informed! Listen to NOAA weather radio or check local forecast and news reports regularly.
- Cover your home’s windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc.
- Turn off all utilities if instructed to do so.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, expect for serious emergencies.
- Fill the bathtub or buckets with water to use for cleaning and flushing toilets.
- Keep your gas tank at least ¾ full at all times.
- Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container, in an easily accessible location.
When the hurricane is approaching it is important to know whether you need to evacuate or not. The following is a list of scenarios in which you must evacuate under hurricane conditions, if you:
- Are told to evacuate by local authorities.
- Live in a mobile home or temporary structure.
- Work or live in a high-rise building.
- Live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- Feel you are in danger.
- Live in an area below sea level.
If you do not evacuate NFPA recommends that you do the following during a storm:
- Stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors.
- Notify out-of-area contacts that you are not evacuating.
- Close all interior doors and secure and brace exterior doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
During a hurricane it is also important that you are not fooled by a lull in the storm. The eye of a hurricane is often the calmest part of the storm. Once the hurricane’s eye moves the winds will resume.
After a hurricane, it is important that you are prepared for the damage that can surround you. According to NFPA you need to:
- Be aware of flooding and tornadoes.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
If you evacuated from your home it is also important that you do not return home until authorities declare it safe.
For more information about evacuating and preparing for natural disasters check out our previous blog posts:
Be safe this hurricane season!
-The IFS Team