How to Survive a Hurricane
Hurricanes are among the worst natural disasters that affect North and Central America. Being prepared if you are in a hurricane zone can make all the difference. Having a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radio will help keep you updated in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. In this article we will explore how you can survive when a hurricane makes landfall in your area.
Before the Storm Hits
Make a plan and decide on a meeting point should anyone become separated during the storm.
Pack an emergency kit for each member of your family (including pets) with any necessary medications, first aid, and three days’ worth of food and bottled water. Make sure that you have plenty of canned and non-perishable food in airtight containers in the case of a flood. If any unpackaged food comes in contact with floodwaters, it could be harmful to your health. Under no circumstances should the water be used to drink. If you’ve ever used an oxygenator, make sure you have a backup tank as well as any batteries you might need to operate it. Having multiple backup tanks is not a bad idea either!
Protect documents and valuables. Scan or take pictures of all essential documents (IDs, passports, insurance forms, etc.) and place in a watertight and fireproof safe if possible. Otherwise, move them to a high shelf in an inner closet or bathroom.
Transfer all food to the freezer to keep it extra cold. Pack extra ice in the refrigerator to keep it extra cool in case the power goes out.
If evacuation is recommended in your area, take the steps to get out as soon as possible. If you live in a trailer or on a boat, secure the building and evacuate or move to a safer shelter. Neither a trailer nor a boat will provide adequate protection from the high winds and flying debris in a hurricane.
Follow all evacuation instructions given by emergency personnel and trained professionals. If you can afford it, book an airline ticket as early as possible to avoid the hurricane altogether. Many airlines will place a cap on ticket prices out of affected areas to ease the financial burden.
Driving or taking a train or bus may also be a viable evacuation strategy. Depending on your area, there may be different options. Make sure to research and go through an evacuation plan with all family members to stay on the same page.
During the storm, all the wind will greatly spread spores and other allergens in the air. In fact, when your power goes off (which it probably will) that means that any air filtration unit you have will stop working. This will only worsen the effect the storm has on your lungs.
THOSE WHO OFTEN EXPERIENCE ASTHMA ATTACKS DURING CHANGES IN THE WEATHER WILL LIKELY EXPERIENCE THESE SAME ATTACKS DURING A HURRICANE, SO BE PREPARED FOR THOSE.
If You Can’t Evacuate
In some cases, evacuation before a hurricane hit is impossible. Follow the steps above to secure your home. If possible, cover all windows and make sure they are secure. If there is a secure building or hurricane shelter near you, head there and stay away from all windows.
If you are in your own home, head to the basement if you have one and avoid windows and doors. Other secure places in your home include inner closets or bathrooms without windows. When possible, shelter under a heavy table or other large pieces of furniture.
If you experience a sudden lull in the high winds, stay where you are. This may just be the eye of the storm. Wait to hear from a trusted weather source if it is safe to come out. Otherwise, you may be caught out in the open when the winds pick up again.
Make sure your home or arranged shelter is adequately stocked with bottled water and provisions in the event you become stranded.
Pay attention to hurricane updates via the NOAA radio, TV news, or the Internet when possible. This can make all the difference and keep you safe in the event of any changes or unexpected occurrences.
One of the most important things is to have a thorough and practiced emergency plan in the event of a hurricane. Ensure all family members are on the same page and have several backup plans in place if plan A becomes impossible to carry out. Hurricanes can be incredibly devastating. You can reduce the impact they have on your own life by being prepared, securing important documents and valuables, and staying up to date on the hurricane as the storm unfolds.
AFTERthe hurricane is over, make sure that you clean your house as much as possible to make sure no mold starts growing. Be sure to use allergen friendly cleaning products. Don’t wander into destroyed or abandoned buildings either, as these will probably contain some sort of mold spore that could trigger an attack.