A hurricane is an extremely frightening natural disaster that, unfortunately, might happen to any of us. Surviving a hurricane as it hits an area is a challenge that can be overcome given the right smarts and the right preparation. If you and your family are in an area that might be prone to hurricanes – or if you just want to make sure you have a fighting chance should a hurricane hit, be sure to follow this guide in order to make sure you’re not too stressed should a hurricane actually strike.
According to recent numbers, Hurricane Katrina from 2005 is just a highlight of 30 years of rather immense, destructive, and deadly storms in the United States alone. In fact, as many as 12 storms can make landfall in the United States every year, and some two to three of these hurricanes can reach Categories 3 to 5. This makes the Atlantic coast one of the most vulnerable areas in the country to be hit with storms, with September being the month most prone to strong hurricanes in a year’s hurricane season. Katrina itself has been the costliest cyclone in the past few decades, having cost the United States as much as $108,000-million for just a Category 3 storm. Hurricane Galveston back in 1900 has been the deadliest cyclone to date, having as much as 8,000 deaths. Given these alarming numbers, can we really survive if we’re stuck in a hurricane? Here are the ways:
1.) Is there any way for you to evacuate? If you can, try as much as possible to evacuate immediately when the storm warning has reached you. If possible, try to find your way north as the storm will likely have weakened before it reaches you by then. It’s much easier to keep everyone in the family safe if you’re away than to try weathering the storm.
- Be sure to stick together regardless of where you go. Leave the home, enter the car, and exit the car as a group.
- If there are local orders to evacuate, it’s advised you follow them to the letter. If you’re in a mobile home, try as much as possible to evacuate when the order is given.
- Be sure to take only what you need once you evacuate. Some clothes, cash, identification, medicine, and mobile phones should be part of your priority list. If there’s a way for you to have an emergency medical kit before the hurricane, take it with you as well.
- If you need to fill up the gas tank for evaluation, be sure to fill it up as soon as you’ve received evacuation orders. If possible, always keep your car with a full tank especially if you know there might be a storm coming.
2.) Is there a way for you to find shelter? If you feel as though it’s much safer to stay where you are during the storm, make sure you’re able to find adequate shelter. As much as possible, get shelter that doesn’t have windows or any skylights that are prone to being damaged. If you’ve decided to stay at home, make sure external doors are well-protected, interior doors are secure and barricaded, and windows are all closed.
- Try to make sure you have a “safe space” for you and your family, including everything you need. These can include from the aforementioned items, and even supply of food and clean water. If you don’t have a space safe yet, choose an interior room with the strongest walls and the least windows. Bathrooms work well for this.
- If you’re reading this before a storm or even outside storm season, try to make sure you work your way towards barricading the home in order to avoid any casualties should disaster strike.
- If you’re not travelling but you want to get to a safer place, try to see if there are community shelters near your place. Bring things such as games, snacks, flashlights, bedding, identification, insurance papers, and medicine in order to keep yourself protected at all times.
3.) Is there an emergency? If you or any of your family members experienced an emergency during a hurricane, don’t panic but always have a plan in mind. There’s always a lot of danger if you’re stuck in a hurricane – such as debris injury, storm surges, and other medical emergencies. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, though.
- If you don’t think floods are becoming extreme, even in the middle of the storm, don’t ever think of leaving the house or shelter. It’s best to stay inside and wait the storm to subside. Only ever consider leaving if the floods get worse.
- If your family is in life-threatening danger, call emergency services and explain your situation clearly. Phone lines may not work immediately, so prepare your message beforehand.
- Try to use the resources you have for now. If you have a first-aid kit, try to provide basic medical assistance to the injured member of the household, and then immediately seek medical attention once the storm has subsided.
Conclusion: Preparation Is Always Good
When it comes to preparing for a hurricane – or any natural disaster – it’s always good to make sure you’re prepared all the time. If weather forecasts tell about a disaster, it’s likely going to hit anytime soon, which means scrambling to prepare your resources and protection for your home will need time you don’t necessarily have. This means if there’s a time for you to prepare for a hurricane, it’s now – so that if you do get stuck in a hurricane, you won’t have much trouble keeping your families and loved ones safe.
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