So you’re in the path of the hurricane?! Time is of the essence. You need to move quickly, taking every step to ensure your personal safety and to protect your home and possessions. Whether you plan to evacuate or ride out the storm at home, here are some hurricane preparedness tips that will help keep you and your property safe.
Stay Connected: Stay on top of the advancing storm. Watch television, listen to the radio and regularly visit the National Hurricane Center website to track the hurricane.
Evacuate: If officials issue hurricane evacuation orders, locate a shelter, move to higher ground or find a place to go that’s outside the hurricane’s path.
Stock Up: Besides buying bottled water and nonperishable foods, fill bathtubs and any other containers with water. Make sure to put gas in your car and stock up on batteries, flashlights, cash, a first aid kit and have a fire extinguisher handy. If you have a generator, learn how to use it properly.
Clean Up: Make sure all potted plants and patio furniture are inside. Trim branches and remove them from your property. Secure things that can’t be moved, like rain gutters and downspouts. Unplug electronic items, like televisions, to protect them from power surges. If you don’t have a garage, park your car in an area where there are no large trees or overhanging branches.
Shutter Up: If you have shutters, put them up early. Use plywood to protect other glass on your home. Get sandbags and place them in areas of your home where water might enter.
Stay Inside: Don’t venture out during the storm. The eye of the hurricane may give the illusion of calm, but it’s only halfway over. If you expect tornados, position yourself in a windowless room, like a bathroom, and cover yourself with a mattress.
Be Cautious: Plenty of danger lies in exploring after the storm. Avoid downed power lines. If there’s flooding, don’t try to drive or walk through the water, as you could get swept away. Move to higher ground if there’s any chance of a flash flood.
You may not know how hard a hurricane will hit or if you’re in its direct path until the last minute. But once a hurricane warning is issued, prepare and have a strategy. Use these tips and stay safe!