Whether you live someplace near the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coastline, chances are you’re going to be affected by a hurricane one way or another. The good news is that there are many ways to prepare for and recover from a hurricane.
While every home is different and will react to a natural disaster differently, there are some general tips that everyone should follow before, during, and after a hurricane. These steps will help keep you safe during other natural disasters like tornadoes, blizzards, wildfires, and ice storms as well.
Before a Hurricane
Before a hurricane hits, you should be preparing your home as much as possible.
Your preparedness stock should have an adequate amount of inventory. Keep your supplies away from vulnerable areas such as your electronics and food. This can help prevent a lot of problems that arise during and after a hurricane.
Important things to have on hand are:
- First Aid Supplies
- Emergency Radio (this will help to keep you updated if you lose power)
- Your medications
Make sure you have flood insurance and insurance for your possessions. You may also want to consider purchasing storm insurance. This insurance will help protect your home and belongings if a hurricane or tropical storm completely destroys your area.
As much as you can, make sure that your roof is in the best condition possible. You should also be in the process of replacing any old or damaged roofing materials and clearing out any trees or other objects that may be on your roof.
If you have propane tanks, turn them off. Do you have small appliances plugged in? You should unplug them.
You should also be prepared to secure your home while the storm is happening, such as boarding up your windows and doors.
Make certain that you have a place safe to go if you are evacuating. Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas in case you need to evacuate quickly before or after the storm.
Make sure that you have a plan in place for your family’s safety.
- Do you know where everyone in your family is at?
- If extended or elderly family members are in the hurricane path as well, can they fend for themselves? Should you go and get them?
- If for some reason you and your family members get separated, make sure to have a communication plan or a predetermined place to meet up when it’s safe to do so.
There’s a lot to consider before a hurricane because you don’t know for certain how severe the storm will actually be and how it will affect your neighborhood and community.
Prepare for During a Hurricane
If you live in the area of a hurricane, be prepared to follow the conditions. Depending on where you live, you may be able to follow the Hurricane Watch/Storm Surge maps, or you may have to follow local weather reports.
If there are any updates on the hurricane, follow them closely. If the hurricane is going to be Category 3 or stronger, you should brace yourself for a very dangerous situation. These hurricanes can cause a lot of damage, and there’s a chance that they may cause flooding or significant damage to your area.
If you are outside during a hurricane, you should make sure to stay away from trees, power lines, and other vulnerable areas.
If you have no choice but to be outside during a hurricane, get to high ground in case of flooding.
Hopefully, you’re secure someplace indoors, but make sure to stay away from windows. This will keep you safe in case of flying glass.
Turn your refrigerator and any freezers you have to their coldest settings during the storm. During hurricanes, you will most certainly lose power, and doing this will preserve your food for a longer period of time.
When the “eye” of the hurricane passes over you, there’s often the temptation to go outside and look at the damage. Well, the storm is only half over so it’s a good idea to say indoors unless there’s something urgent to attend to.
Millions of people have been able to ride out a hurricane safely, so don’t let fear make this a miserable experience. You’re a disaster prepper and you’ve been preparing for situations like this for a while.
After the Storm
After a hurricane has passed, it’s important to assess the damage. This will help you to figure out what you need to replace, and what repairs are needed.
There could also be toxic gases, hazardous materials, downed power lines, or structural damage to your home or nearby buildings. Be cautious of your surroundings. Make sure that you’re not putting yourself in danger while doing your post-storm assessment.
This is obvious, but if something doesn’t look safe, stay away from it. You can always get help later.
Once you’ve assessed the damage, you may want to do some cleanup. This could include removing any fallen trees and branches, picking up pieces of debris, and clearing away any mud or water that has been loosened by the storm.
If you’re not home, don’t go home until you’ve been told that it’s safe to do so.
Beware of areas where other people are looting. Don’t get involved and stay away from those areas. Looters tend to act like every major law is no longer in effect, so don’t get caught up in unnecessary dangerous situations.
Steer clear of any flooded areas and don’t go into the water. There’s always the possibility that the water could be electrically charged by downed powerlines that you can’t see. As scary as it might be if you live in areas where alligators have been known to habitate, there’s a chance they can get displaced during the storm and they could be lurking in flooded areas.
Hurricanes can be very dangerous, and they can cause a lot of damage.
Being as prepared as possible for a hurricane and its aftermath is key to your and your family’s survival. Make sure that everyone in your family knows what their role is in the family preparedness plan.
Stay prepared, friends!
Thank you for sending this to me Mike. As you know I am in Tampa Bay. We are braced and ready for Hurricane Ian. We have been preparing for hurricanes since we moved here in 1993.
Hi Autumn! Hope the article is helpful to those a bit newer to the topic. There’s been so many people in the last couple years moving to new areas that they’re not familiar with. Hopefully you agree we’ve covered the important things and I’d love to hear your tips or you can post a link to a video about the topic on your channel if you have one?