Hurricane Disaster Dos and Don’ts
Hurricane disaster dos and don’ts can save lives, when properly applied. Preparing can prevent harm to houses, property and people. Before, during and after a big one hits, making the right choices can avert disaster.
Dos Before the Storm Hits
Having the right supplies can make all the difference if a storm becomes disastrous.
- Keep on hand water, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, flashlights, batteries and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
- Always have adequate medical supplies, particularly a First Aid Kit.
- Sterilize the bathtub and fill it with water.
- Water can be put into a toilet’s refill tank to keep flushing without power.
- Charge cell phones.
- Pull out cash for general use.
- Fill cars with gasoline.
- Be aware of needs specific to all residents.
Damage to property and houses often can be prevented with a little forethought.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Bring in outdoor objects that could become projectiles and anchor what can’t be moved.
- Turn fridges to their coldest settings and well insulate them with things that will hold the cold much better than air.
- Be cognizant of the elevation and local hazards like rivers, lakes and floodplains.
- Straps and additional clips can help secure a roof to the rest of a frame.
- It requires about an additional 2% of the cost of a home to reinforce the attachments between the walls and the roof.
- Both the placement and trimming of bushes and trees can create wind barriers.
- Ensure gutters and downspouts are free of leaves, sticks and other debris.
- Add a protective layer over windows, such as installed shutters, impact-resistant windows or nailed boards that are in decent condition.
- Preinstalling shutter fasteners allows for easier and quicker installation.
- Shingles and soffits help distribute quickly accumulating rain.
- Seal with caulk or other means any cracks between windows, doors and pipe entries which could funnel aggressive winds indoors.
- Secure and brace external doors.
If a hurricane intensifies, extra precautionary measures become essential to keep families safe.
- Keep handy personal and governmental emergency contacts.
- Develop an effective evacuation plan with reliable evacuation routes.
Dos During the Storm
- Use a TV or, if the power goes out, a battery-operated radio to pay attention to the weather and emergency alerts.
- Use a Weather Radio app for current weather information.
- Close interior doors to minimize potential windflow.
- Watch for downed power lines and structural damage.
- Try to smell potential gas leaks.
- Take photos for insurance purposes afterward.
- Don’t decide that local government evacuation orders don’t matter.
- Don’t run indoor generators without carbon monoxide detectors, as some have slowly poisoned homeowners.
- Don’t hang out near windows during the storm.
- Avoid rooms particularly susceptible to big, falling trees.
- Avoid electrical equipment that may possibly lead to electrocution.
- Especially if in a building with a foundation in a floodplain, don’t assume basement flooding will be very gradual, as flows can increase quickly and have trapped families.
- Don’t drink water from the tap until the water supply has been deemed safe by local authorities.
- To avoid unnecessary panic, don’t overhype storms.
- Don’t go boating or surfing – get off the water.
- Don’t venture outside into a hurricane.
- After the storm, don’t touch loose or dangling electrical wires.
- Don’t step in puddles possibly touching damaged electrical equipment.
- Don’t drive unless necessary because of potentially flooded roadways.
- If the power goes out for a long time, beware of spoiled food in the refrigerator.
- Don’t forget to consider and quickly remedy potential long-term damages from mold.
- Avoid entering buildings that smell like gas.
- Last but not least on this list of hurricane disaster dos and don’ts, don’t put off reporting electrical, gas or water utility problems indoors and outdoors.
Risks of electrocution, gas explosions, supply shortages, preventable damages to property, falling and tossed debris, rushing waters, flood damages and their corresponding threats can accompany hurricanes. Being tactful before and during the storm can minimize the physical threats and the damages.