If you live near the east coast of the United States, or anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico, you know that June 1 begins hurricane season. And if you have ever lived through a severe tropical storm or hurricane, you don’t need to be reminded that you need to prepare for the next one a long time before a storm is even forming.
If you neglect to get your emergency preps in gear until the National Hurricane Center starts forecasting a big storm, then you are running behind – and you don’t want that to happen. Planning for your family, your property, and your possessions to survive a hurricane takes serious work before the rush is on to escape perilous weather. The last thing you want to be, during a “big blow,” is a statistic.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane:
Preparing your home and family for an approaching hurricane is critical. If you hear that the big storm is on its way, here’s what you need to do.
- Be sure you know how a hurricane would affect your family and property. You’ll need to know if you are vulnerable to not only the dangerous high winds, but also know if storm surge and flooding are factors where you live.
- Consider whether you plan to stay in your home or go to an emergency shelter. Even if you plan to stay at home during the storm, learn where the nearest two emergency shelters are, just in case you decide that you cannot shelter in place at the last minute. Those with special needs or medical issues should consider talking with county officials well before any storms, to find out how they can handle specific medical requirements.
- Plan an emergency escape route from your property to the nearest safe storm shelter, and have a meet-up place for all your family to gather.
- If you’re going to stay in your home, plan the location well. You want an area that has no windows, and is on the bottom floor, and in the center of the structure if possible. A place where you can be comfortable is important, chairs and sleeping arrangements as well as food and water have to be easily within reach. Consider that you might be in this area for hours, while the storm rages outside.
- Food and water: Stock up on non-perishable food that can be eaten without additional cooking – each person should have three meals and snacks for at least three days. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day, and because utilities can be damaged in hurricanes, stock up enough clean water for at least a couple weeks. Don’t forget to rotate your stocks by using last year’s food and water, and restocking for the next upcoming season with fresh supplies. Who wants to eat poor quality food and drink old stale water during an already stressful weather event? Yuck