How-Tos

Preparing for a Hurricane

Hurricane season is upon us and everyone has an ear tuned to the weather reports in hopes that none of these nasty storms turns their way. Although a hurricane can be frightening, preparing ahead of time can both lessen the anxiety associated with the oncoming storm as well as the damage that can be done to life and property.

Preparing for a Hurricane

Take Measures to Protect the Home

Although some hurricanes require evacuation, the vast majority that hit land come in the form of a severe storm that can be weathered on the home front. It’s important to remember that even if a hurricane isn’t bad enough to trigger evacuation, it can still cause significant damage to homes in the area where it comes ashore. Homeowners should take the proper measures to secure their homes before the storm hits to minimize damage.

One of the most common examples of damage from a hurricane is broken windows. Homeowners can avoid this problem by pre-cutting shutters to place over windows in the event of a storm. Custom shutters can be ordered from several providers but there’s no need to go to the expense. Sturdy plywood cut to the right size can be hung from latches on the outside of the home for very little money. Homeowners need to have them in place before the storm hits because hanging them can be difficult in the heavy winds that accompany a hurricane.

Hurricanes can also cause considerable damage to landscaping but proper maintenance can lessen this damage. Trees need to be trimmed, especially any branches overhanging roofs, power lines or other structures. Saplings should be supported with an exterior brace in the case of a storm. Any potted plants should be brought indoors for the duration of the hurricane.

Stock up on Supplies

When the news hits that a hurricane is coming, local retailers are going to run out of essential provisions quickly. It’s best to stock up on these items ahead of time to avoid the rush, and the possibility that necessary items will be sold out. Batteries, flashlights, camp stoves, propane, emergency blankets and bottled water are all hot sellers during hurricanes.

Every family should have a supply of non-perishable food items such as canned soups and powdered milk in the even of an emergency. Plenty of fresh, bottled water should be kept on hand too, in case city water is disabled. A 72 hour kit should be constructed for each family member that includes 3 days worth of food, water and a change of clothes so they will have all the essentials on hand in case of an evacuation.

Have a Clear Family Evacuation Plan

In the event that an evacuation is recommended, families should follow the order immediately, since most deaths and injuries that occur during a hurricane could have been avoided if families had followed evacuation plans.

Sticking together during all the chaos caused by a hurricane can be difficult so families should follow a plan that ensures they’ll all meet up in the same place. Families should discuss a safe meeting place ahead of time and designate a specific out-of-town relative as the person to contact in case of an emergency. That way there will be someone apart from the disaster who can field questions and give out information regarding family members’ whereabouts.

During a hurricane, family pets need to be considered and included in evacuation plans. Government evacuation aide often doesn’t include pets so pet owners should arrange accommodations for their furry friends ahead of time. One option is for pets to be dropped off with a friend or family member who lives further inland whenever a hurricane is predicted to hit land. The pet can be dropped off ahead of time, before the storm arrives and traffic becomes complicated. That way, a family can evacuate without worrying about pets should the need arise.

Damage done by a hurricane can be devastating but families who have planned ahead will be more confident, less fearful, and less likely to sustain damage during the storm. A well-prepared family may even find themselves able to sit back and enjoy the show next time nature graces their town with the awesome force that is a hurricane.