Best Practices for Surviving a Hurricane

Hurricanes are some of the most violent forces of nature. They produce winds over 100 mph, tornadoes, and storm surges. The only redeeming quality about them is that, thanks to modern technology, they can be predicted  days in advance, with amazing accuracy. This is one of the best survival tools we have.

If you know that the hurricane is coming toward your area, and especially if you live in a low lying area, you need to evacuate if at all possible. Have a plan worked out for the best route away from the storm, and somewhere to go if the emergency should arise. Make sure that your family, including your extended family, knows about the route, and where you will be locating. Go over the plans before every hurricane season to make sure that everyone is aware of what to do and where to meet. Don’t wait until the last moment when the highways will be most congested to make your getaway.

Assemble a box with important papers, jewelry, medicines, prescriptions, and some cash that you can grab on short notice. If you have the luxury of being able to evacuate, make a list ahead of time of all items that you will need to pack in the car. Make sure that you have a battery operated radio and fresh batteries.

Prepare your home for any eventuality. You may not be leaving your home during a hurricane. Reinforce doors and windows, add shutters, and make sure that nothing on your property has the ability to take flight and become a missile.

During hurricane season, have a ready supply of food, bottled water and especially canned goods. You may also want to stock up on candles, oil lamps, flashlights and ideally, a generator. At the height of the storm, however, it is important that you have no open flames in your home that may cause a fire. If you do purchase a generator, remember, they cannot be operated in enclosed areas. The fumes are lethal.

Keep your vehicles gassed up, and keep a can of gas at your home for your generator, or vehicle backup fuel.

If you have pets, make a plan for them as well. Keep them close by when storms are approaching, and do take them inside, or with you when you evacuate.

If we have learned anything in the last few years, it is how important it is to be prepared, and to never underestimate the power of nature.