10 Hurricane Safety Tips You Need To Know This Season
10 Hurricane Safety Tips You Need to Know
It’s important to review hurricane safety tips early and often during the hurricane season. A dangerous hurricane can for any time from June 1 to November 30. Atlantic hurricanes impact the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, and the East Coast especially hard. If you live in any of these areas, you need to make sure you are prepared to react quickly.
Hurricanes can be deadly and cost billions of dollars. For example, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy cost $70.2 billion dollars and killed 159 people. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina absolutely devastated the western Lousiana and Mississippi coastlines. This storm resulted in $160 billion in damages and killed a scary 1,833 people.
Being prepared the storm can lessen the negative effects it has on you, your family, your property, and even your business. Let’s take a look at 10 ways to boost hurricane safety and preparedness in your home.
1. Take Photos
The first thing you should do when a hurricane watch is issued for your area is to take pictures of everything. Go around your house and take pictures of rooms, electronics, and any other valuables. Then upload those photos to a cloud or Internet-based storage like Dropbox, Microsoft Cloud, iCloud, or Google Drive. Now if your home is damaged you have photographic evidence for the before and after.
2. Save Your Contacts
The second thing you should do is save your contacts somewhere other than your mobile phone. You should do this for a couple of different reasons. First of all, strong hurricanes can easily knock out phone communications. This happened during Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area. You simply can’t rely on your phone for communications during and after a hurricane.
The next reason why you should save your contacts is because conditions could ruin your phone. Flooding or falling debris can permanently damage a mobile phone. You need to have important numbers saved somewhere else so you can communicate properly during and after the storm. You simply can’t rely on your phone for communications.
3. Prepare Documents
You need to protect important documents during hurricanes. Flood waters and general damage can destroy documents like house deeds, birth certificates, and social security cards. To protect them, take pictures and upload them to a cloud-based storage device. It is also a good idea to put them into large freezer bags and seal them shut with duct tape.
4. Use Your Dishwasher As A Safe
The next hurricane safety preparedness tip is to use your dishwasher as a safe. This sounds silly, but a dishwasher actually makes a perfect safe during a storm. Store your valuables, like bagged up photos, documents, or jewelry, inside to protect them from hurricane conditions or even hide them from potential looters.
5. Keep Your Freezer Cold With Bags
It’s very common to lose power for days – even weeks – after hurricanes. To keep food safe for the longest time possible, fill Ziploc bags 3/4 full of water and stuff them in your freezer to fill up space. The less air you have in the freezer, the longer your refrigerator will stay cold. Do NOT turn your refrigerator to any lower setting than normal – That can damage the unit.
6. Have A Radio And Batteries
Part of any disaster kit is a functioning radio. This can be a crank radio or a battery-powered radio. If you are using the later, make sure you have the appropriate batteries. Radios are very important before, during, and after hurricanes. This is because they offer a reliable form of communication that often includes safety messages and weather updates. It doesn’t hurt to have flashlights and batteries as well, so you can see even if you lose power.
7. Heed Evacuation Orders
The most important tip on our list is this next one: Heed evacuation orders. Time and time again, civilians are injured or stranded when they refuse evacuation orders. Governments order evacuations to keep people safe. While hurricanes can change course at any minute, it is imperative to leave your property if evacuated. This is especially true for people living near the coast or other large bodies of water. Some of the most dangerous conditions of hurricanes are the winds by the storm surge and resulting flash flooding. Be safe.
8. Quarter Trick
If you do need to evacuate and are worried about perishables in your refrigerator or freezer, go ahead and do the Ziploc bag trick from above. You can also do this quarter trick as well to help you know if your food has been exposed to high temperatures when you get back. To find out if you fridge lost power, place a cup of water in your freezer. Freeze it solid and put a quarter on top of it and leave it in your freezer. That way, when you come back after you get the all clear, you can tell if your food went bad or not!
9. Turn Around, Don’t Drown
This next tip is another big hurricane safety caution. As we mentioned above, flood waters and storm surge can be some of the deadliest weather conditions of a hurricane. Turn around, don’t drown means do not try to drive through flooded water. Flood waters are home to a plethora of dangers. Just one foot of storm surge can sweep your car off of the road. If you see flooding, do not drive through. Stay in your home until the waters recede and you get an all-clear from local officials.
10. Do Not Leave Shelter Until The Official “OK”
After a hurricane passes you might think it’s safe to venture out. Some people even think going outdoors during the eye of the storm is safe as well. These are both lies. As we mentioned a few times throughout this piece, the biggest dangers of a hurricane can happen after the storm passes. Storm surge is actually worse once the eye passes. The difference in wind speeds between the eye of the storm and the eyewall is too great to risk going outdoors while you think it’s calm. Storms can change speed and direction at any time. The best thing to do is to hang tight until officials say it is safe to leave or you hear a weather alert system give the all-clear signal.
What Did We Miss?
The Earth Networks Team would like to say thanks to one of our Senior Account Managers, Diane Huettig, who sent us these helpful tips. A native Floridian, Diane shared these tips as Hurricane Irma approached her home in 2017.
Did we miss anything? Leave your hurricane tips in the comments below or reach out to us on social media.