Surviving Hurricane Season

So you’ve just found out there’s a large hurricane on its way, and it looks like it headed right for you. You’ve got a few days before it arrives, and you need to decide what the best course of action is for you and your family.

The first thing to remember is, don’t panic. You need a clear head to explore all of your options. Stay cool. The first decision you need to make is probably the most important- do you stay, or do you evacuate?

For the most part, if you’re going to be in the direct path of a hurricane, it’s a good idea to evacuate. Now is not the time for bravado. Three instances where evacuation is a MUST: 1) the government has issued a mandatory evacuation order, 2) a category 3-5 hurricane is on its way and you live within 100 miles of the coast, and 3) your home cannot be secured properly. If any of these hold true for you, your only option is evacuation. If they don’t, you may have more of a choice to make.

If you do evacuate, try to leave as soon as possible, as traffic will be bad with everyone trying to get out. Know your escape routes, and which are likely to be less jammed than others. Have your car stocked with a few days worth of food and water, emergency supplies, and extra gas if possible. Have cash on hand, a charged cell phone, all your important documents, and most importantly… a place to go.

As stated earlier, evacuation is usually your best choice when a hurricane is headed your way. But there might be times when staying put is best- maybe it’s too late (the worst case is being stuck in traffic when the hurricane hits), maybe you’re not likely to be hit too hard, or maybe you have another reason. If this is your choice, you must prepare to survive.

First, you’ll need at least a week’s worth of food and water. It’s a good idea to have this on hand anyway, at all times of the year, and doing so will avoid a frantic trip to a crowded and under stocked supermarket. Cook all the raw meat you have, and freeze it. It’s less likely to go bad this way, and if you’re without power for a while you can unthaw it and have a pre-cooked meal. Fill your freezer with bags of ice and frozen water bottles. A backup generator and propane BBQ are great items to have if you’re without power for extended periods.

Next, you’ll need to secure your home. Board up all your windows if you don’t have storm shutters. Bring your outdoor objects in, lock all of your doors, and close all your internal doors. Fill your bathtubs with water, and turn off the power and gas. Find a small, central room on your bottom floor, and hole up in there until the worst passes.

With a little preparation, you can ensure getting through hurricane season with safety and ease.

Good luck and stay prepared!

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