As hurricane season approaches so does the threat of an actual storm. Unpredictable and often forming almost out of nowhere, hurricanes can catch you off guard. You may not have had the proper amount of time to prepare, stock up or even evacuate. Following any hurricane guide will be your first line of defense.
What to Do Now
Carefully read this guide.
If you still have time to make the decision to evacuate, do so if your home is in danger. If it becomes a problem to get out of the city, lodging at a local motel in a safer, drier part of town is also recommended.
Put together your disaster supplies kit if you haven’t done so already.
Make proper arrangements for your pets. Pets are not welcomed at public shelters and most commercial lodging establishments. You may come across the occasional exception but do plan ahead to make sure your pet is safe and taken care of.
As the Storm Approaches
Stay tuned to local news outlets and listen to weather updates. Hurricanes are classically unpredictable and can change course and strength in just a matter of a few hours.
Prepare your vehicle if you’re planning to evacuate. Making sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas, fresh oil and is up-to-date on all inspection points will give you the security you need when you need to jump in the car and go. It would also be wise to stock a couple of extra canisters of gasoline. In the case of a mass evacuation, the liability of a gas shortage is imminent.
Check and double check your stock of emergency supplies and bring them out to where they are easily accessible and not in the way of being damaged or lost.
Clear your yard of lawn furniture, toys, appliances and trash. Hurricane’s are notorious for strong winds. You don’t want to be seen chasing your designer patio umbrella down the street.
If you’re a boat owner, double back and make sure it’s been secured properly. In the event of an evacuation, all draw and swing bridges will be closed to all boat traffic.
Procure and label containers that will be used for storing water. There should be a minimum of one gallon per person for seven days.
At least a week’s supply of non-perishable foods is essential if you plan to stay in your home during a hurricane. Depending on how hard your area is hit, you most likely won’t be able to make it to the grocery store shortly after the storm.
Offer your home to neighbors or friends who may be in critical areas or are in need of safety.
Stay inside and stay away from the windows.
Wait for official news that the storm has passed.
If You Must Evacuate
Pack only what you will need.
Turn off the main water line and cut the main power to your home from the circuit breaker.
Turn off propane gas tanks that might be serving as a fuel source for appliances like a stove or grill. Do not turn off natural lines unless local officials have instructed to do so.