A hurricane is one of the most frightful events to experience in anyone’s lifetime. No matter how much you stock up on supplies or prepare your home and family, the experience is like no other. Many people know what to do before and after a hurricane, but what do you actually do during its passage?
Before a hurricane passes it is critical to think about your safety at home because this could mean that you have to evacuate to keep your family safe.
If you are worried that your home is not the safest place to be during a hurricane, it is best to evacuate before the hurricane. Reasons for evacuation may include:
- If your home is on the coast, near a river or an inland waterway
- If you reside in a high-rise building because hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations
Staying Safe During an Evacuation
If you are given the directive to evacuate from your home, here are a few key considerations for your home and pets during the hurricane:
- Take your emergency supply kit with you, any additional items must be important for your stay at the shelter
- Unplug all appliances before leaving home. Turning off the gas, electricity, and water can mitigate against a fire or gas leak during the hurricane.
- Choose to travel on roads that have been approved by emergency personnel in your country
- Contact your national disaster office to learn about how your pets and livestock can be accommodated, as pets are not typically allowed in emergency shelters. Consider researching animal shelters nearby for accommodation.
Staying Safe at Home
If you remain at home during a hurricane, here are some tips to stay safe:
- Locate your emergency supply kit and keep it closeby
- Stay connected: Updates from the media will allow you to keep abreast of what is happening. It is better to rely on a portable radio for information and instructions than social media as electricity is likely lost.
- Stay indoors: For your safety, it is advised that you stay inside until the all-clear is given. Stay clear of windows and glass doors especially if they are not protected by a hurricane solution. If you have a safe area in your homes like a closet or downstairs bathroom, stay there as long as possible.
- In the event that electricity is lost, keep the refrigerator closed. Trapping this cool air will delay the spoilage of perishable foods.
- If power is also lost, turning off the main power supply to your home mitigates against circuit trips that could be hazardous to your home and appliances
- Ensure to check for any water entering your home that could come into contact with your appliances.
- Keep a flashlight handy with extra batteries. Avoid lighting candles or kerosene lights that can easily create a fire hazard.
It is essential that you take every precaution to stay safe during a hurricane. Though the experience is nerve-wracking, feeling prepared will help to ground you and your family during the passage of the hurricane.