-Max Mayfield, Former Director of National Hurricane Center.
"History teaches that a lack of hurricane preparedness and awareness are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster."
The above quotes are from the National Hurricane Center website in past years.
Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. Learning the warning signals and planning ahead can reduce the chance of injury or major property damage. The United States Government offers multiple websites with information and resources for hurricane preparedness, such as the one mentioned above. Various links are provided to take you to products on BePrepared.com that may help you prepare for hurricanes.
The following is a checklist of information from the FEMA website to help you prepare before, during and after a hurricane.
Before a Hurricane
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
- Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
During a Hurricane
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.· Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Moor your boat if time permits.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure-such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building-hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors-secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds will pick up again.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
After a Hurricane
Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful.
(End of FEMA article.)
Hurricanes can create dangerous situations. Preparation by learning to recognize and respond to warning messages can lessen the damaging effects and reduce the chances of injury related to a hurricane.
Additional Information Resources
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
Broward County, FL
Escambia County, FL