Hurricane Preparedness: Hurricane Safety During a Hurricane

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. . . Is It Safe To Come Out Yet

Hurricane preparedness really does start long before the hurricane season is upon us, but let’s say that you’ve done lots of preparation for your family, your property, you’ve got a hurricane evacuation plan, you’ve got your survival kit ready . . . what should you actually do whilst the hurricane is actually happening in order to stay as safe as possible.

If You’re Expecting a Hurricane

If a hurricane is expected in your area then you really need to make sure that you’re well informed:

  • listen to the radio and television for up to date information
  • close all storm shutters on the windows, bring any outdoor garden objects indoors, secure your property as much as you can
  • turn off any utilities if that is what you’ve been told to do, if you don’t have to turn off the power then switch the refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep the door shut
  • only use the telephone in case of emergency
  • turn off any propane tanks
  • make sure that you have plenty of water available . . . fill up the bath tub, buckets and other large containers. You’ll not only need it to drink but also for sanitary purposes . . . washing, cleaning and flushing the loo

There’s a Hurricane Coming – When To  Evacuate

It might very well be necessary for you to leave your home in case of a hurricane. If any of these apply to you and your situation . . . get the hell outta’ there.

  • the local authorities told you to evacuate – follow their instructions carefully
  • if you live in a temporary structure or some type of mobile home then get out now. Even if they’re fastened securely to the ground they’re still extremely dangerous
  • if you live in a high rise building then get out . . . hurricane winds are much stronger higher up
  • if you live on a floodplain, on the coast, close to a river or inland waterway
  • if you feel that your safety and the safety of your family is threatened . . . get out

Gonna’ Have To Sit Tight and Ride Out the Hurricane

If it is simply not possible for you to evacuate your home or travel to a safe room, then follow these instructions carefully.

  • stay indoors at all times, keeping well away from glass doors and windows
  • make sure that all internal doors are closed, and external doors are locked and secured
  • keep all of the blinds and curtains closed. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security if you think that all has gone quiet, it might just be the eye of the storm and that the winds will be back again very soon
  • hide away in an interior room if possible, a small closet at the lowest level of the house is best
  • take to the floor and stay there . . . lie down beneath a table or some other sturdy object for added safety

Mmmm, I thought I said don’t go outside, he’s supposed to stay indoors. . .

What To Do If The Power Goes Down in a Hurricane

  • Make sure that you have lots of power outage equipment in your disaster supplies kit – flashlights (with plenty of batteries), matches, a lantern, glow-in-the-dark-sticks, wind-up clock, portable radio.
  • Always make sure that running generators are kept outdoors with the exhaust pointing away from windows and doors.
  • Never ever burn charcoal indoors . . . burning charcoal produces toxic fumes which can kill.
  • Be sparing in the use of hot water – you never know how long it’s gotta’ last.
  • Turn most of the electrical devices off and unplug anything which is electrically sensitive, but just leave one light switch on so that you’ll know immediately when the power supply is back on.
  • Never ever approach, or attempt to handle a downed power line.
  • Close the door to any unused rooms to maintain the heat, and use drapes in order to prevent any drafts.
  • If possible dress in layers, taking care to keep your head covered (lots of body heat is lost through the head).
  • Only use space heaters which have been designed for indoor use, indoors. Even then make sure that they are adequately vented, carbon-monoxide poisoning is a very real danger is these situations. Always turn heaters off before you leave home or go to sleep.
  • If you start to feel a little dizzy or sick when you are using a space heater or generator, get some fresh air immediately. Nausea, fatigue and sleepiness are the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
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