How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Hurricanes are a fact of life for anyone living in “Hurricane Alley”—the broad strip of the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States that are especially prone to hurricanes. States in the “Alley” include Florida, as well as most of the Gulf Coast states (Louisiana, Mississippi, etc.) and about half of the East Coast states (North and South Carolina, Georgia, etc.). Knowing how to prepare for a hurricane can mean the difference between life and death.
Since hurricanes are so frequent in those areas, property owners are going to want to know just exactly what to do in the event that a major storm is imminent. And remember, even if the direct force of the hurricane is projected to miss your house, tornado-force winds, hail, and other types of severe weather can still do major damage to your home.
Here are some hurricane safety tips for keeping your family and property safe from the storm:
How to Prepare For a Hurricane Before the Storm
Before the storm (and preferably before there’s even the threat of a storm) take these steps:
- Design an emergency response plan. Here you will list each thing you need to do in the event of an imminent storm (board-up your home, collect supplies, etc.) Plan what you will do if you have to evacuate and what you will do if you have to weather out the storm at home. Make sure to take any house pets into consideration as you plan.
- Create a family communication plan. This will include details such as phone numbers for each family member and the number of a family member or close friend (preferably one who lives outside of the area) that you can call. You should also set up an emergency meeting point in a safe location in case your family members are separated. Give a copy of the plan to each family member.
- Create a 72-hour survival kit that contains enough food, water, blankets, and first aid supplies for your entire family in the event that you are cut off from emergency workers. The kit should be portable in case you have to evacuate your home. Many people choose to create smaller kits for each family member. For more information on this, read our article titled: Bug Out Bag Checklist: Essentials For Your Tactical Supply and Survival
- Buy storm shutters for your windows. Permanent shutters are preferable and most effective at preventing damage, but you can also purchase shutters that are easy to slide in and out of place which you will be able to quickly install right before the storm.
- Trim trees and bushes around your home (to make them more wind resistant) and securely fasten your roof to the frame of your home using clips or straps.
- Consider investing in a home generator. This isn’t essential, but home generators can save you a lot of stress in the event of a prolonged power outage. Generators, depending on the size, can restore power to all your home’s essential appliances, including your lighting system as well as your heating and cooling system. Furthermore, most modern standby generators will turn on automatically in the event of an outage so you don’t have to do anything special to get them working.
Keep your home and family safe
It’s not always possible to completely avoid any damages—particularly flood damage—brought about by a hurricane, but following these tips will help minimize any problems. More importantly, knowing how to prepare for a hurricane will help ensure your family’s safety.