Once again, hurricane season is upon us, and few people can forget the horror we witnessed as we watched the people along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico scramble and flea amid the chaos of traffic jams, gas pumps that were sold out and people who got stuck along major Interstates as they tried to flea away from the path of Hurricane Katrina. The damage has still not been fully repaired, and no one knows how long the rebuilding will take.
For anyone living in a hurricane prone area, knowing how to survive a hurricane is essential. There are things that these people can do to prevent themselves from becoming victims like the people affected by Hurricane Katrina were and still are. here is a look at some of the things you can do to help yourself survive a hurricane.
*Make an evacuation plan –
If you live in a place where you know you will likely have to evacuate, or should evacuate, plan ahead and make an evacuation plan. Map out a route to where you are going. Have all members of the family pack up clothing for at least 3 to 4 days. Have suitcases ready to go throughout the hurricane season. Be sure that people have all of their medications, and you have all of your important papers such as insurance papers, marriage license, legal documents and anything else.
*Have a supply of cash on hand –
Be sure you have plenty of cash. In the event of a power failure, no place you go will be able to take credit cards. You will have to pay for anything and everything with cash.
*Be sure you have a place to go –
Having a place to go and the assurance that you can stay there is crucial. If you intend to go to an evacuation center, plan to bring blankets, towels, sheets and maybe even food. Sleeping bags may also come in handy.
*Make a hurricane survival kit –
A hurricane survival kit is the most essential thing you can do. If you are going to be able to stay at home, be prepared for any potential power failures by purchasing a generator well in advance and stocking up on propane. If you can’t use a generator, purchase battery powered lanterns or things that can operate on various types of power, including solar and crank. Have an emergency radio as well.
Make sure you have plenty of non-perishable foods. Bread, peanut butter, individual cans of shelf stable fruits, chicken, tuna, salmon, beans, cups of jello, non-perishable beverages, plenty of water (at least a gallon per person per day,) paper plates, towels and plastic utensils. You will also want to have plenty of hand sanitizer.
Fill large garbage cans with water so that you can use the water to flush the toilet. Purchase cloths so that people can wash without taking showers. This will help keep the morale up even when people can’t bathe or shower. Have plenty of games on hand that people can play when there is no power for using computers or other electronic devices.
Purchase a power supply so that you have a way by which to recharge cell phone batteries. You will need your cell phone to contact authorities if you are in danger, or to call family. If possible, also have extra cell phone batteries on hand.
*Fill the car with gas –
Make sure you have a full tank of gas. You might also want to fill a canister with five gallons of gas in case you need some extra gas.
*Unplugging appliances –
If you are in a place where flooding is a likelihood, unplug the appliances. Water and electricity are a deadly combination and when the two mix, a fire can be the result. You may also be able to spare your property from other damage by unplugging it.
*Don’t wait until the last minute to evacuate –
If you know that a hurricane is headed towards you and you are going to have to evacuate, or want to do so just to ensure your family’s safety, don’t wait until the last minute to leave. If you leave a day or two ahead of time, you can avoid crowds and ensure that you will have sufficient gas to get to your destination.
People go into panic mode when authorities issue hurricane warnings or advisories. Don’t ever wait until the last minute to buy the food you’ll need for your hurricane readiness kit. You would be wise to purchase canned and non-perishable foods all year so you have plenty of stuff to eat when you need it. Make sure you have plenty of water and other things on hand as well, because people tend to wait until the last minute and dash out to stores then, only to discover that the shelves have been cleaned out completely in every store around.
The more you plan ahead, the better prepared you will be. When other people are panicking and worrying about getting things done ahead of the hurricane, you won’t have to worry about any of those things. You would be wise to spend the money to purchase hurricane shudders to protect your windows. They may cost as much as $2500 but you can lower your home owners insurance by doing so. You can also save yourself from having to replace windows. You might also want to get straps to hold your roof down.
And most of all, always remember “Don’t drown, turn around,” when you see flooded roads.