Hurricane Safety 101: Supplies & Steps To Keep Your Family Safe
Hurricanes and even strong tropical storms can leave devastation and even death afterward. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to be prepared. The greatest threat to personal safety exists during a storm and in the immediate aftermath when high winds can topple trees and produce deadly flying debris. Heavy rain can produce flash floods and storm surge can present another deadly threat. To stay safe in a home during a hurricane, it is suggested that individuals follow these steps:
What To Do When A Hurricane Strikes:
- Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Find a safe area in the home (an interior room, a closet or bathroom on the lower level).
- If flooding threatens a home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
- If a home loses power, turn off major appliances such as the air conditioner and water heater to reduce damage.
- Do not use electrical appliances, including your computer.
- Do not go outside. If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force and will come from the opposite direction.
- Also, do not go outside to see “what the wind feels like.” It is too easy to be hit by flying debris.
Beware of lightning. Stay away from electrical equipment. Don’t use the phone or take a bath/shower during the storm
Hurricane Supplies You Need To Have:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
Supplies for Unique Needs
Remember the unique needs of your family members, including growing children, when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.