Preparing for Hurricanes

Hurricanes – Preparing For the Worse
On hearing about a hurricane forecast, the first thing that comes to our minds is what measures are to be taken to prepare for it. Here are a few tips to help you out:

72 hour kit

Plan on how to secure your belongings and property. It will be a good idea to get storm shutters to protect windows. Another good option is to get ready to install hard board-up marine plywood windows with dimensions of 5/8”. People sometimes tape up their windows to prevent them from breaking; however, that is not an effective solution.

Installing additional clips and/or straps to fasten and secure roofs to the frame structures is very helpful. Doing this highly protects roof from getting damaged.

Make sure your pets are safe. Send them off to a safer place if you can. If you decide on keeping them with you, be sure to get pet safety kits and take all the necessary measures to protect them. Make sure the shrubs and trees are kept short and trimmed all around your house.

Get the downpipes and rain gutters cleaned and clog-free before hand. If you own a boat, think of a good place to secure it. Consider getting a panic room or safe room constructed. These are fortified rooms which can be installed in residences or other buildings to provide a safe haven against any disasters or threats.

Planning Evacuations
Most people are unaware of the fact that evacuations are actually quite common these days. Every year, numerous industrial and transportation accidents cause the release of harmful gases and substances, which force people to relocate. Natural disasters lead to evacuations even more often, especially in the Atlantic coast and gulf areas where hurricanes hit more frequently. Local authorities are the best place to find out about evacuations routes from. They also provide maps with emergency evacuation routes marked out on them. When evacuations become unavoidable, local officials send out warnings and use different methods of notifying residents, by spreading out flyers and using telephone calls and sirens. Officials also let people know the estimated time period within which the evacuation should take place. Generally, the amount of time needed for you to evacuate will depend on the hazard and extremity of the expected storm. If the status of the hurricane is well monitored, the exact number of days for the evacuation can be estimated. In some cases people have about a day or two to gather up some basic necessities and evacuate, but in many other disasters there is hardly enough time to round up things.

Guidelines for Evacuations
Evacuations need to be well planned. To do this the right way, you must keep your nerves under control and not panic. People almost always go into a panicked state upon hearing of an evacuation. This hinders perfect planning, making things get out of hand altogether. In order to plan evacuations, certain guidelines should be followed. However, these guidelines need to be followed with regards to sorting priorities first. The best way this can be done is by listing out a number of things you feel are important. Start off by listing out the most important things (things that MUST be done) first.

The following is a guideline to give you an idea:

1) Make sure your car has a full gas tank. In cases of disaster emergencies, gas stations are likely to close down due to power outages.
2) Know where you are evacuating to, i.e. your evacuation zones.
3) Be sure to follow evacuation instructions given out by the local authorities.
4) If you don’t own a car, be sure to make transportation arrangements with the local government of your area.
5) Leave as early as possible, so as to avoid being caught up in traffic jams and severe weather conditions.
6) Be sure not to take shortcuts, because they might be blocked. Follow the evacuation routes recommended by local officials.
7) Watch out for flooded areas and cut-off power lines. Be alert enough to stay away from them.
8) Arrange for your pets to be safe or keep them with you throughout.

Things to Do During a Hurricane Storm
If you’re in an area that is likely to be hit by a hurricane, there are a few things you should do to survive and stay secure. In a nutshell, the following are a few things summarized for you to remember to do:

1) Be current with any relevant news to stay informed throughout.
2) Turn of and unplug all utilities, electronics and appliances.
3) Make sure your home is secure (close shutters and make sure outdoor objects are safe too).
4) Make sure the propane tanks are turned off.
5) Avoid using phones unless it’s absolutely urgent.
6) Be sure to save some water for sanitation, like flushing toilets and cleaning up. You can save water in large containers and bathtubs.
7) Make sure your pets are safe.

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