When you think of a hurricane, your mind may not jump to the likelihood of a category 5 hurricane. Yet with the intensity of activity in the Atlantic Ocean caused by climate change, a category five hurricane may not be so far away. Since 1924, there have been 37 category five hurricanes recorded, with the latest in the Caribbean, being Hurricane Dorian which wreaked havoc on The Bahamas in 2019. In order to prepare a plan of survival, an understanding of category five hurricanes is needed.
About Cat 5 Hurricanes
Category five hurricanes are the highest classification of hurricanes, with wind speeds of over 157mph. They are most likely form in September, as it has been deemed the heart of the season. They tend not to last longer than 24 hours; however, Hurricane Dorian was a rare example where the power over land extended to 27 hours. Hurricanes of this nature are likely to bring storm surges, extreme battering waves, extreme winds, and torrential downpours.
How Do I Prepare For a Category 5 Hurricane?
It is in fact difficult to prepare both mentally and physically for such a life altering experience, yet the typical precautions are effective with a greater focus on being self-sufficient in the aftermath.
- Stock up on water (by the gallon) to ensure your household has access to fresh drinking water. Drinking tap water after a hurricane could be detrimental to your health as it is compromised by floodwater and mud.
- Stock up on non-perishable food items and toiletries for the family and even pets to survive during and after the hurricane. This could be as much as a month’s supply. Should you still have perishable foods in the refrigerator and freezer, use them first before consuming the non-perishable items.
- Invest in hurricane shutters to protect your doors and windows from the onslaught of flying debris.
- Create a thorough evacuation plan for your family, this may include a hotel reservation. Persons living in coastal areas will be required to evacuate from their homes. If you reside in flood-prone areas, it is wise to become familiar with hurricane shelters. Keeping a packed bag for evacuation is also recommended
- Gas the car and buy extra supplies of gas to ensure you can travel in case of evacuation. However, after the hurricane has passed, no travel is advised in floodwaters that may be electrically charged.
- Get Cash and Store in waterproof containers: Telecommunications and electricity will be severely impacted by strong winds and rains. Withdrawing and saving a stash of cash in a secure location can assist in financing yourself and your family in the aftermath. Important documents should also be stored in waterproof containers
- Invest in LED lights, lanterns, and backup batteries that can be used during and after the hurricane until power is restored. A battery-operated or crank radio would be essential in keeping you up to date with any changes in the weather
- Tree trimming will be essential to reduce the chance of them falling on your home. Store some of the wood from the tree bark to assist in making a fire afterward for warmth
- Check up on your insurance before the hurricane: this allows you to know how much coverage you have for your home.