A hurricane is a powerful storm that can cause widespread destruction. Humans cannot stop a hurricane, but with careful preparation and planning, they can safely survive an impending disaster. No matter how often hurricanes occur in your area, you can protect yourself and your loved ones during and after a storm by taking certain measures. For this, we need to answer the question: «how to stay safe during a hurricane?»
What to Do before, during, and after a Hurricane?
The first thing you should do is to be prepared! What are the ways to prepare for hurricanes?
Prepare for hurricane season. Study your local area. If you live in an evacuation area, be aware of this. Usually during hurricanes, evacuate areas that are near the water. Try to find out the classification of your area. In this case, you will be prepared to evacuate after severe storm warnings.
Find out about the nearest evacuation shelters. Mark such places on a map so that you know where to go in the event of an impending disaster.
Pay attention to the terrain. If you live at the base of a hill, water will flow toward your home. This is not the safest place to be during a hurricane. In that case, your property is at risk of flooding, and you need to take extra precautions in the event of an approaching hurricane. You can place sandbags around the house to reduce the chance of flooding. Find a high place near your home to go there in case your home floods.
Stock up on food and water. In the event of a major storm, your family will be cut off from the world for several days. If there is no power, all stores will be closed, so you should stock up on food and water for three to five days per family member. Choose foods that do not spoil (such as canned foods). In this case, food will not be gone even in case of power outages. In addition, you can buy canned goods before hurricane season begins and not have to worry about food until next year.
Stock up on water for 3-5 days at the rate of 20 liters per person.
Gather necessary supplies. In addition to water and food, it is recommended that you also stock up on other necessities. These include:
– medical supplies – first aid kit and prescription medications you take;
a battery-powered radio in case there is no power;
spare batteries for various devices;
– personal care items – soap, toothpaste, and wet wipes in case of water absence.
Where to park my car during a hurricane? The main rule – do not to park your car near large trees, the wind easily blows down trees. Even if the tree is very strong, with a thick trunk, and definitely will not fall, it is still a danger because the wind can blow away large branches that will damage the car no less than a small tree felled as a whole. Along with trees, avoid billboards, and streetlamps. The consequences of their fall are even more disastrous than in the case of the trees. While nearby high-rise buildings are safe protection from a hurricane, private houses are an additional hazard. The elements very often tear off pieces of the roof from such houses and can carry them for quite a decent distance. Wait out the hurricane in the village or suburban cooperative is absolutely safe if you have a garage. What to do during a hurricane if the elements caught you driving? As soon as possible, stop in a safe place and wait it out. Pack an emergency car kit. There is a chance that you will be ordered to evacuate your family or have to leave your home in case of a flash flood. It is recommended that you keep an emergency kit of the following items and supplies in your car for such an event:
storage of food and water, as you never know how far should I evacuate from a hurricane?
first aid kit;
flashlights and spare batteries;
map on which you can map evacuation shelters and other safe places;
Make an emergency plan about the things to do during a hurricane. It is very important to have a plan for you and your loved ones in the event of a hurricane. Review this plan regularly, so the whole family knows its contents. If you have children, a few times a year you can hold drills to make sure they are aware of what happens during a hurricane and that they know how to pack quickly and place themselves in the car.
How Safe Is an Apartment during a Hurricane?
If a hurricane begins when a person is in the building – for example, in their own apartment or at work – the first thing to do is to move away from windows and choose a safe place in a partition, corridor, bathroom, bath, closet, or under a desk. A doorway and a built-in closet are also safe places in case of danger. Should you open windows during a hurricane? Definitely, not! The main thing is to stay away from windows, mirrors, and bookshelves that can break or fall down at the most inopportune moment. Before hiding, you should turn off the electricity and turn off the gas valve.
You should also close and curtain all windows and shutters tightly. In order not to have to later collect the shards of vases and pots with flowers, it is also better to remove them from the window sills. At night, you can use wax candles and battery-powered lanterns as a source of light. If your phone with internet access is dead, you can use your radio to get important information about where to evacuate during a hurricane.
Storms are often accompanied by thunderstorms with lightning. The interior rooms and corridors of any building are a good shelter from lightning. What not to do during a hurricane? Remember, that the elevator is a very dangerous place, and you should not stay in it. If lightning strikes the whole building, everyone in the elevator at that moment will be trapped.
What to Do after a Hurricane Passes?
Beware of fallen trees as well as swinging banners, signs, billboards, and shutters.
Be careful around broken power lines, as they may be electrified.
Beware of gas leaks in houses, disturbances in the electrical grid.
Answering the question of what to do after a hurricane, we want to warn you, as you may use electrical appliances only after they have been checked and dried thoroughly.
In cases where a storm is accompanied by a thunderstorm, beware of electric shock (lightning).
Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a hurricane dangerous? The danger to people in such natural phenomena is the destruction of road and bridge surfaces, structures, overhead power lines, and communication lines, land pipelines, as well as striking people with the debris of destroyed structures, fragments of glass flying at high speed.
How can you tell when a hurricane is coming? Dark rain clouds, strong gusty winds, and flying debris are warning signs of a hurricane. Also, sea levels begin to rise and waves begin to form white caps, and barometer values drop. Hurricanes should definitely be announced in the local news and on the radio.
What is the safest place to be during a hurricane? The safest places in buildings are in the middle section, in the corridors, and on the first floor. If you find yourself on the street, try to find shelter immediately: underground passages, subway stations, or sturdy buildings are good for this. If you find yourself in the open, it is better to hide in a hollow, ravine, or other natural recess.
Where do you evacuate during a hurricane? Drive to another state or the area, which is not forecasted to have a hurricane. Ask friends or family to stay in their houses or book the hotel. Lastly, you can use public shelters.