Atmosphere And Weather

Steps to take before and after a Hurricane Hits

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"Steps to take before and after a Hurricane Hits"
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Hurricanes can be dangerous, costly and can often be deadly. This is why it is important to plan ahead and be well prepared. Planning ahead for a hurricane can help to save lives, reduce potential damage to valuable property, and reduce the stress of surviving a hurricane. On the average, five hurricanes will strike the United States coastline every three years, during what is known as the hurricane season.


You can begin preparing for hurricanes well before the hurricane season begins. You will want to make sure trees and shrubbery is well trimmed, as well as making certain that the outside of your home is kept clear of clutter that will need to be put away in the event of a hurricane. Windows should be boarded with plywood to protect them from flying objects. Purchase your plywood early, cut to fix each window and mark which window each piece fits, then store in a safe place. While you are buying plywood, also invest in some good tarps that will cover your roof in the event that you have damage to the roof. After a hurricane, tarps can be hard to find.


Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have good sufficient coverage as well as flood insurance. Also make sure your insurance company is a one with a good reputation.


Store all important documents in plastic in a waterproof safe. If you need to evacuate, you can simply grab this quickly and have your important documents with you. It may also be a good idea to make copies of important documents and keep in a bank or with relatives that are not in the hurricane area.


Make sure your car is well maintained and has a full tank of gas in the event that you will have to leave the area. Gas stations may take a day or so to become operational after a hurricane and those that do have gas will also have a long line of people waiting to fill their cars. If possible, try to purchase several gallons of extra gas because you will need it if you have a generator. If you have a garage, put your car in the garage. You can even use your car to brace the garage doors by parking it as tight to the garage door as possible. This can help to protect your garage doors from the force of the wind.


You will need a generator if there is no electric. A generator can keep your refrigerator lights working as well as some small appliances such as the coffee pot. You should also have a supply of canned foods, bread, and various drinks including bottled water. A radio or battery operated television are essential to keep up with what is happening, so make sure you also have a supply of different types of batteries. Flashlights are essential, so make sure they are in working order with good batteries. Kerosene lights and kerosene may be kept on hand.

A grill or a camp stove is important as these allow you to use the meat in your freezer that may otherwise spoil.  You will also need to keep several bottles of propane for a gas grill. An electric skillet can also be used with the generator.

Make sure that anyone who is taking medications on a daily basis has a least a week’s supply. Also check your first aid kit to make certain you have first aid cream, bandages and antiseptics.

Discuss your hurricane plans with your family so that everyone knows what the plan is. If you plan to evacuate, each person should know what items they will be allowed to take with them.

This is the major things that you will need to do and purchase to be prepared for a hurricane, but you should also contact your local Emergency Management office for local information, such as where local shelters will be located and emergency evacuation routes.

If you follow these suggestions and prepare well in advance, it should help to relieve the stress of surviving a hurricane. However, for major hurricanes of a category 3 or above, you may also want to consider evacuating the area, and returning after the danger has passed.

More about this author: L. M. Hosler

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