Thanks to technology, meteorologists have the tools to inform the public when a hurricane is coming. Proper disaster preparation will prevent damage to both people and property, and heeding hurricane safety tips will lessen the chances of injury before, during and after the storm. Stay informed, and take the storm seriously.
Shop for food and water at the beginning of hurricane season to avoid a crowds and low supermarket stock. According to the National Hurricane Center, you should store enough food and water to sustain your family for three to seven days. Hurricanes have the ability to disrupt power and other utility services. Buy canned, non-perishable foods that can be eaten without having to be cooked. Be sure to have a hand-operated can opener so you can get the cans open in the event of power failure. Have enough bottled water for each family member. The recommended allotment is one gallon of water per day for each person in the household.
Pack a first aid kid. Keep bandages and antibiotic cream on hand for minor injuries. Stock up on a seven-day supply of prescription medicines in case you cannot access a pharmacy after the storm.
Purchase safety and communication devices that run on batteries. Be sure to have enough batteries on hand for each device. Listen to a weather radio for emergency messages, important community information and hurricane updates. A flashlight will help you maneuver in the dark if the storm hits in the evening or if the power is out for a few days.
Connect a telephone with a cord to a phone jack in the house. This type of phone does not need electricity to operate. Charge cell phones prior to the hurricane and use them sparingly once the storm begins to prolong battery life.
Discuss an emergency hurricane safety plan. Set up a room in the home as a designated safe room in the event of escalating wind.
Evacuate if told to do so. Do not stay in your location if you are warned that it is not safe. Pay attention to community messages regarding evacuation routes and shelters. If you have pets, locate pet friendly shelters in your area in case you need to leave your home.
Fill up the gas tank in the car to make sure that you have enough fuel to drive to another location if necessary. Do this several days before the storm. Do not wait until the day of the hurricane, as it is possible that gas stations could run out of fuel due to high demand.
Have cash on hand, preferably smaller bills. In days following the hurricane, lack of electricity may make cash machines and credit card scanners inaccessible.
Board windows with plywood or hurricane shutters to prevent flying glass. Placing sandbags around the perimeter of your home will decrease the chances of water getting into the house in the event of flooding. Trim trees and store patio furniture to avoid damage to both people and property from falling branches and windblown objects.