Hurricanes are probably one of the most known types of natural disasters; especially for those who live on the east coast of the United States. One of the main reasons they are so notorious is that there is an ongoing threat of hurricanes or tropical storms that affect the east coast and some big enough to even affect the west coast every year. Since there are so many hazards caused by hurricanes including high winds, heavy rain, flooding, etc., it is important to know what you and your family should do if you live in an area that is at risk for hurricanes.
As every prepper should know, preparation should begin long before a hurricane becomes a threat. A good place to start preparing for a hurricane is to, of course, start by building a food storage supply while stocking up on other emergency items such as battery-powered radios, flashlights, and first aid kits. Be aware of whether your property area is flood-prone and learn what the local evacuation routes are.
On your spare time, practice and prepare for an approaching hurricane. First, you’ll need to cover the windows in your home. If you do not have permanent storm shutters, cover windows with sturdy plywood. Bring in all outdoor furniture and any other things that are not secured outside. Make other plans to secure your home as necessary. If you live in a high-rise building, try to take shelter below the 10th floor, as the winds caused by a hurricane are stronger at that level. Pay close attention to local news broadcasts that could provide important information. If an evacuation order is issued for your area, leave! Those that live on the coast or near other bodies of water are especially at risk from storm surge or flooding.
If you remain in your home during a hurricane, it is important to remain aware of what is going on so you can keep your family safe. Pay attention to TV or radio broadcasts; turn off utilities and propane tanks if told to do so, and close all the interior doors. If part of your house is damaged by the storm, these steps can help lower the amount of damage to other parts of the house as well as provide additional protection to your family. Take shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of your house, away from windows and glass doors. Even if it appears that the wind outside is dying down, you should remain indoors until you are told it is safe. A lull in the wind could merely be the eye of the hurricane, which means that the storm will soon pick up again.
It is important to be careful after a hurricane is over. Even after the main storm has passed, there could still be additional rains and flooding in the area. If you evacuated, you should not return home until government officials say it is safe to return. Be especially aware of potential hazards such as flooded roadways, downed power lines, gas leaks, or structural damage to your home. Do not enter your home if it appears unsafe.
Below is an infographic to further explain the financial damages past hurricanes have had on the United States.