Here are a few things you should do before a hurricane:
- Remove weak and dead trees or tree limbs on your property.
- Know whether your home is in a zone that could be flooded by storm surge, meaning you’d have to evacuate.
- Have plans for where you will go if you evacuate, when you will leave (maybe early to avoid traffic jams), and how family members will contact each other.
- If you might have to evacuate, have a “grab and run” bag ready with important papers, such as your home owners insurance policy, and prescription drugs.
- If you live outside possible storm surge zones, and your house is sturdy, you should plan on riding out the storm in a “safe room” inside the house.
- Have an evacuation or survival kit ready with nonperishable food, water, a first aid kit and other things you’ll need.
- Have a battery-powered radio, maybe a battery-powered television set for keeping up with the latest advisories.
- Gather supplies early, including flashlights, medication, food and drinking water.
- Make sure that your home is secure and shuttered. Ask neighbors to assist with preparations, if necessary.
- Make sure that a neighbor or loved one knows your whereabouts.
Of course, if you are living in a mobile home, or a house that isn’t sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, you should evacuate early and avoid the rush. In all cases, early preparation is the key to surviving a hurricane with as little discomfort as possible. If you need assistance at any point, be sure to contact your local social service agencies as early as possible, as agency employees will also be preparing for the hurricane and cannot assist you at the last minute. If you don’t live in an evacuation zone or a manufactured/mobile home, you can stay home if you take these precautions.
Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.