There are many useful tips for preparing for a disaster, but what do you do when one is bearing down upon you and you only have a few days or even hours to prepare? Here is a list of tips we’ve assembled:
If you remain at home
If you don’t need to relocate, stay indoors. Don’t go out during the brief calm when the eye of the storm passes over. Wind speeds can increase dramatically in seconds.
- Stay away from windows and glass doors and move furniture away from exposed doors and windows.
- Stay on the downwind side of house. If your home has an “inside” room, stay there during the height of the hurricane.
- Keep the radio or television tuned for information from official sources.
- Without taking any unnecessary risks, protect your property from damage. Making temporary repairs can reduce your losses.
- Line the bathtub with plastic sheeting or a clean shower curtain, or caulk the drain with silicone caulking — it holds water for weeks and cleans up easily when dry. Plan on three gallons per person, per day for all uses (including flushing the toilet).
Prepare an evacuation plan
In an emergency you may have only a few minutes to gather your important papers and leave your home, possibly for good. Have the following ready to go:
- Medicines, prescriptions, comfort items and a change of clothes.
- Emergency supplies such as flashlights, radio, batteries and water.
- Computer hard drive or laptop.
- Insurance policies; birth and marriage certificates; wills; deeds; financial information such as account numbers, recent tax returns, stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates; driver’s licenses and other personal identification.
- Take warm, protective clothing and remember to lock windows and doors.
After the hurricane, dangers remain!
The storm may have passed, but new dangers lurk.
- Beware of outdoor hazards. Keep away from loose or dangling power lines, and report them immediately to the proper authority.
- Walk or drive cautiously, washouts may weaken road and bridge structures.
- In the event of a power outage, throw out food that may be spoiled. Boil municipal water before drinking until you have been told it is safe.