Hurricanes can bring a lot of wrath and destruction with them. Being prepared for what’s to come can make a huge difference between life and death. Common hurricanes that do not pose much of a threat require bare minimum preparation. But if you are dealing with a devastating hurricane that does not discriminate and destroys everything in its path, preparation is the smartest thing you’ll do to keep you and your family safe.
Below you will find many useful tips on how to prepare and survive destructive hurricanes. We’ll try to run you through the basics of surviving a hurricane, a grocery list to keep you running during a hurricane, and an essential list to help you with common problems faced during a hurricane.
What Should You Do Before a Hurricane
Before a hurricane, you must decide whether you want to stay at home or evacuate as soon as a warning is issued. Whatever you decide to choose, there are ways to survive. Here are some important things to keep in mind.
Things to Do If You Decide to Stay Home Before a Hurricane
- You should ideally mark a room that is the safest place in your home and stay in there during the duration of the hurricane. The safe place can also be outside the house such as an underground shelter or a safe place constructed by your community for such hazards.
- Sit down and list the type of hazards that could affect you and your family when you are planning to stay home. Discuss how a storm surge, high winds, flooding, and other vulnerabilities have to be dealt with when the time comes.
- Stock whatever food you can find including non-perishable food supplies – a grocery list is provided below. Also make sure you have a battery-powered radio at home, few flashlights, a first-aid kit, extra batteries, lots of bottled water, and other essentials you could need during the storm.
- Make sure to properly store food. Freeze as many items as possible and keep the temperature of your refrigerator at the coldest setting to ensure the food does not spoil if there is a power outage all of a sudden.
- Buy a non-electric analog telephone or have a fully charged smartphone at your disposal if you need to make an emergency call during a power outage.
- During a hurricane, water supply can be affected. In this case, fill all the bathtubs and sinks with plenty of water so you can flush the toilet when needed or cook food with spare water.
What to Do Before a Hurricane When You Decide to Evacuate
Depending on the intensity of the hurricane, staying at home is only going to put your life in danger. At times like this, evacuation is your only option to ensure everyone in your family stays safe. Here are some important things to keep in mind when you decide to evacuate your home before a hurricane.
- Local authorities usually warn people of the intensity of the hurricane so they can decide whether they want to stay home or evacuate. But sometimes the hurricane is so destructive that authorities will order people in the area to evacuate. If that happens, listen to the authorities and vacate your home to go somewhere safe.
- If an evacuation becomes necessary, make sure you unplug all your electrical appliances including refrigerator, computers, and TVs before leaving your home.
- Keep your most important possessions on the top floor of your house. This is to prevent them from being damaged in case flooding happens.
- If you own air-conditioners, make sure you remove their fuses to prevent any damage.
- Turn all your taps off to prevent any flooding from broken pipes.
- Make sure your gas oven or stove is turned off in case a pipeline gets damaged and gas leaks.
- Make sure to double check your car. It should ideally be in a running condition with a full tank and emergency supplies stored in the trunk.
- Make sure to educate your family about emergency exits from your home. Everyone should be ready to leave from the nearest exit in case of an emergency. Set a meeting point with your family so none of you are lost during a hurricane.
Have a Hurricane Grocery List Ready and Get Everything Possible
During hurricane season, it is very important to stock on essentials and grocery. The hurricane preparedness checklist should ideally have non-perishable food supplies, bottled water, first aid kits, and other essential supplies you may need. Here is a full list of hurricane groceries that should be stocked in your home at all times.
Ready To Eat Food
- Canned vegetable and fruits
- Canned juice
- Canned Pasta, beans, and other canned food
- Energy bars
- A gallon of water for every one per day
- Other ready to eat food
Sometimes it is also a good idea to keep food that can be quickly prepared in stock. These items should be on the top of your hurricane supply list.
- Pasta Sauces
These essential supplies will make sure you have everything you need during an emergency.
- Garbage bags
- Dish soap
- First aid kit
- Aluminum foil
- Toilet paper
- Disposable utensils
- Paper plates
- Moist towelettes
- Extra batteries
- Mosquito repellent
- Lighter fluid
- Strike anywhere matches
- Manual can opener
- Fully charged smartphone
- Extra charges
- Fully charged battery bank
- Tool kit
- Food storage bags
- Rain gear
- Common cold medication
- Plastic sheets
- Essentials for your car like mobile oil and other supplies
Grocery List for Pet Owners
If you are a pet owner, you will also have to keep supplies for them in case of emergency. Here are the most common items from a hurricane supply list that should be stocked in your home at all times.
- Leash and collar
- Water and food bowls
- Pet food
- Pet medication
Supplies for New Parents
If you have a newborn baby, then you’ll need to keep these particular items in mind as well.
- Baby wipes
- Formula food
- Formula milk
- Baby bottles
- Nappy rash cream
- Baby medication
Precautions to Take in Order to Protect Your Home from a Hurricane
- Hurricane isn’t only threatening to your lives, it can also destroy your home if you do not take the necessary precautions to protect your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind to minimize the damage caused by a hurricane to your home.
- Make sure to bring inside anything that could turn into dangerous projectiles. Things like potted plants, sculptures, house ornaments, awnings, flags, chimes, wreaths, and other lightweight items can be propelled by the strong winds of a hurricane. Make sure they are inside your home.
- Make sure you don’t leave your car parked under a tree. Hurricanes are known to bring even the sturdiest trees to the ground. A car parked under a tree will most likely be damaged during a hurricane.
- Make sure your pool is well covered if you want to prevent water from splashing everywhere and entering your house.
- Make sure you are aware of an incoming tornado and make necessary preparations
- Keep all of your important documents in safe places in case there is flooding in the house. Anything related to your passports, insurance certificates, health records, deeds, and other documents should always be kept in high and safe places during a hurricane.
- Back up your most important data on a USB drive or have them stored on the cloud in case your computer is damaged and your hard disk gets corrupted. Keeping important data in a USB will allow you to access it from anywhere.
Hurricanes are usually very destructive in nature and should never be underestimated. If you’re living in an area that is usually struck by small or large hurricanes, or experiences harsh storms and weather, it is always a good idea to keep yourself prepared at all times.
Most local authorities also hold hurricane safety seminars where you and your family can attend it and learn quite a few things that are important to survive during hurricanes. Even the smallest bit of information regarding hurricane survival can make a difference between life and death.
If your local authority does not usually hold hurricane awareness campaigns, it is a good idea to watch YouTube videos and learn how people from other states where hurricanes are common, prepare for a hurricane. These people have usually experienced a number of hurricanes in their lives and they have the right mindset and experience to guide you.
Generally speaking, never think that a hurricane will not affect you if you continue to stay at home. Most hurricanes are destructive and can take down even the sturdiest houses with them. This is why authorities warn people beforehand to evacuate their homes if a hurricane is predicted to be dangerous. Don’t think that you can outsmart a hurricane, always act according to plan and listen to what the authorities have to say.