From June till November every year some places are at risk from hurricanes. If you live in the southern part of the United States or in central America then it is highly advisable to be prepared for a hurricane sweeping over.
In the cases of very severe category 4 or 5 hurricanes, orders to evacuate are usually made. However not everybody might be able to do this and in the case of lesser hurricanes you might not want to. In these cases you should stay inside.
First of all, secure your house before the hurricane is too close. The shutters on windows should be closed, the power and gas turned off, pets brought inside, and loose outside equipment put away. Then go to the safest place in your home.
The safest place in your house is likely to be on ground level. Higher up is vulnerable to wind and lower down to flooding. Most homes in areas affected by hurricanes don’t have basements anyway, but even if yours does it is inadvisable to shelter there.
Windows are the main danger point, followed by doors. If you have a windowless room then take refuge there. This could be a bathroom, a large closet, a pantry, the area behind the stairs, or even a specially built hurricane room. Everybody including pets should get inside.
If all your rooms have windows then choose the one with the smallest windows, provided they have storm shutters, and keep away from them. Getting underneath a solid piece of furniture such as a table or bed provides extra protection in the absence of shutters.
Remember to take sufficient supplies in with you. You will need drinking water, food, essential medications, and blankets. Also include a fully charged cellphone and at least one small battery powered radio. You will need to keep informed of what is happening.
Often forgotten but very useful is some entertainment. This might be the last thing on your mind but being cooped up in a small room during a hurricane can get, amazingly, extremely boring. Stick in a few books and a set of cards too, you’ll greatly appreciate them after a few hours.
It is important to wait until the storm has definitely passed before venturing out. There might be a period of apparent calmness when the eye of the hurricane moves over but this will not last. Wait until you hear word on your radio, or through your cellphone, that it is now safe to leave your shelter.