Hurricanes and tropical storms pose significant safety risks, so it’s important to be properly prepared throughout hurricane season. National Hurricane Preparedness Week this week, May 1-7. As the tropics heat up here are some tips to help you stay safe before, during and after tropical storms, depressions and hurricanes.
Before a Storm Hits
As storms develop, state and local authorities will provide updates, keeping you aware of a storm’s path and issuing evacuation orders when necessary.
If a storm is projected to hit your area, consider these tips:
- Have a family communication plan in place. Keep your devices charged and keep battery packs on hand.
- Cover all your home’s doors and windows with storm shutters or ⅝-inch plywood.
- Move furniture and valuables to a higher elevation, if possible, if your home lies in a flood zone.
- Move all outdoor items inside.
- Store important documents (e.g., birth certificates or Social Security cards) in watertight containers.
- Make sure your generator, if you have one, is serviceable before the storm.
- Follow local evacuation orders and consider evacuating even if you are not required to.
- Prepare an emergency kit with dry goods, an NOAA radio, flashlights, clean water and first-aid supplies.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, peaking from mid-August to late October.
During the Storm
When riding out a storm, do all you can to stay safe, including the following:
- Make sure your home is completely secure and do not go outside during the storm.
- Turn off all gas lines and consider turning off all utilities.
- Monitor the TV and radio for ongoing weather developments.
- Shelter away from doors and windows. Stay on the lowest level of your home, away from high winds, as long as the area is safe. If your home is flooding, move to higher ground inside your home.