Hurricane Safety: Essential Tips for Staying Safe

Palm Trees Before A Tropical Storm or Hurricane

Living in a hurricane-prone region demands preparedness for safety. Hurricanes, with their formidable winds and rainfall, pose significant threats to lives and properties.

Discover ten vital hurricane safety tips in this article to protect yourself and your loved ones during these storms.

1. Emergency Preparedness

Red first aid bag ready for trauma use during disasters and incidents as first responders

Emergency preparedness refers to the steps taken to anticipate and respond effectively to a disaster, such as a hurricane.

It includes having an emergency plan, knowing evacuation routes, and preparing an emergency kit.

Being prepared can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death during a hurricane.

Your emergency plan should include designated safe places in your home, evacuation routes, and meeting points in case family members get separated.

Ensure everyone knows the plan and practices it regularly.

Also, consider any specific needs of family members, such as medications, dietary needs, or disability-related requirements.

2. Evacuation Plan

An evacuation plan with a pencil,safety glasses, hard hat and high visibility vest.

An evacuation plan is a pre-determined strategy for leaving your home or community if it becomes unsafe due to a hurricane.

Having a well-thought-out evacuation plan can ensure you get to safety quickly and efficiently, potentially saving lives.

Effective Evacuation Plan

First, identify evacuation routes from your local authorities.

Next, decide on a safe place to stay, such as a friend’s house, motel, or public shelter outside the hurricane-risk area.

Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, and keep the fuel tank full. Lastly, assign responsibilities to each family member to ensure a smooth evacuation.

3. Hurricane Survival Kit

Disaster supply kit for earthquake on wooden table

A hurricane survival kit should include water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days), non-perishable food (for at least three days), a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, prescription medicines, cash, local maps, and important documents.

Also, consider including items like baby supplies, pet food, and sanitation items such as hand sanitizers and wipes.

Storing and Maintaining Your Survival Kit

Store your survival kit in a cool, dry place and check it regularly to replenish supplies as needed.

Ensure everyone knows where it is kept. To maintain your kit, replace expired items as needed and re-evaluate your needs every year.

4. Weather Updates

The man switches the news channels on the remote control on TV.

Staying updated with weather forecasts helps you anticipate changes in the hurricane’s path, intensity, or timing.

This information can help you decide when to put your emergency plan into action.

Reliable Sources for Weather Updates

Reliable sources for weather updates include the National Weather Service, local news stations, and accredited weather websites.

Consider getting a battery-powered or hand-crank radio in case of power outages.

5. Storm Surge Protection

Storm Surge During Hurricane IAn Naples Park 108th Ave

Storm surges are a rise in sea level that occurs during tropical cyclones, directly resulting in coastal flooding.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, storm surges are often the most dangerous aspect of hurricanes.

To protect your home from storm surges, consider investing in flood barriers or sandbags. Elevate critical utilities, such as electrical panels, heaters, and appliances.

Also, be prepared to turn off utilities if instructed by authorities to prevent damage.

6. Securing Your Home

Homemade plywood covers the windows of a beach cottage in Florida in preparation for an oncoming hurricane.

Securing your home helps minimize potential damage from strong winds and flying debris. Properly secured homes are more likely to withstand the hurricane, protecting you and your property.

Tips to Secure Your Home Before a Hurricane

Install storm shutters on windows or use marine plywood for boarding. Secure outdoor objects that could become projectiles in high winds.

Reinforce your garage doors, and ensure your roof is well-maintained and securely attached to the rest of your house. Also, consider installing a generator for power outages.

7. Emergency Contacts

Emergency and urgency, dialing 911 on smartphone screen. Shallow depth of field.

Having a list of emergency contacts ensures that you can quickly get help or inform others of your status during a hurricane.

It can also provide reassurance and support in stressful times.

Who Should Be on Your Emergency Contact List

Your emergency contact list should include local authorities, such as police, fire, and emergency medical services.

Also, include out-of-town relatives or friends who can help coordinate assistance, and neighbors who might be able to help in immediate response.

Don’t forget utility companies, insurance agents, and health care providers.

8. Flood Safety Measures

Flooding caused by hurricanes can lead to loss of life and significant property damage. Floodwaters can also pose health risks by spreading infectious diseases and causing injuries.

Safety Precautions During Floods

During floods, move to higher ground immediately.

Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.

Also, beware of electrical hazards in flooded areas.

9. Power Outage Preparation

Flashlights and batteries laid out on a table prepared for a power outage.

Power outages are common during hurricanes due to high winds and flooding.

They can disrupt communication, water, and transportation systems, close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services, and cause food spoilage and water contamination.

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

To prepare for a power outage, stock up on batteries for flashlights and a battery-powered radio.

Charge cell phones and any medical devices that require electricity.

Keep a cooler on hand to store refrigerated food in case the power is out for more than four hours. Also, consider investing in a generator.

10. Pet Safety During a Hurricane

Pets are part of our families, and their safety during a hurricane is crucial. Pets can become stressed and agitated during disasters, leading to erratic behavior or running away.

Preparing Your Pet for a Hurricane

Prepare an emergency kit for your pet, including food, water, a leash, medical records, and a carrier.

Ensure your pet has identification tags with updated contact information.

If you need to evacuate, take your pet with you, as leaving them behind can put them at risk.

FAQs about Hurricane Safety

What is the best way to stay safe during a hurricane?

The best way to stay safe during a hurricane is to remain informed about the storm’s progress, follow evacuation orders, have an emergency plan and kit ready, secure your home, and ensure your family knows what to do during the hurricane.

What should you never do during a hurricane?

Never ignore evacuation orders. Do not try to ride out the storm if you live in an evacuation zone.

Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters, and do not operate electrical equipment in wet areas.

Should I sleep through a hurricane?

It’s not advisable to sleep through a hurricane, especially if it’s making landfall overnight. Stay awake to monitor weather updates and emergency instructions.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.