A hurricane is often referred to as “the greatest storm on Earth” and can be a terrifying event to experience. It is especially important for those who live in areas traditionally hit hardest by hurricanes (like the eastern and gulf coastlines) to be well aware of important safety practices. However, people also travel to theses areas frequently and everyone regardless of home locale should become knowledgeable about disaster preparedness. Surviving through a hurricane may depend on just how aware one is with regard to something as seemingly simple as where exactly in the home to be during an actual hurricane. This article addresses this safety issue.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scaleis used to measure the intensity of hurricanes that strike in the United States. If an impending hurricane’s rating is severe enough, local authorities often give residents the instruction to evacuate the area immediately. However, as Hurricane Katrina taught the world in 2005, everyone is not always able to escape in time and may end up toughing it out through the storm.
Other hurricanes do not rank as high on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and evacuation may not be called for. It is however, exceedingly important to know the safest place in the home in order to increase the likelihood of surviving through a hurricane of any intensity.
Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) have websites that offer excellent tips for increasing ones chances of surviving through a hurricane. They point out that the safest place in the home to be is on the lowest level of the interior of the house. All interior doors should be closed and all external doors should be secured and braced.
Many people living in places at risk for hurricanes actually have a “safe” room built on to their home. This type of room can be costly to have built and everyone is not able to have this done. If ones home does not have a safe room then an interior room, closet, or hallway without windows is the best option.
It is also important to have put together a disaster preparedness kit well in advance of hurricane season. A survival kit should include important items like water, non-perishable food and emergency items like flashlights and batteries, toiletries, and seasonal clothing, etc. A fully charged cell phone is another important item to include in this type of kit. This survival kit should be stored in a place that is easily accessible during the storm and the most important items should be brought into what ever part of the home has been deemed the safest for family members.
If there is no room or area in the home that is window free, then the safest thing to do is to lie underneath a strong table or other sturdy object such as a bed or desk. However, the most important thing one can do is to stay as calm as humanly possible and know that it is possible to survive through a natural disaster such as a hurricane.