If you’re paying attention to the weather this week, you’ve surely seen major hurricane warnings. Fortunately, Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, but it is still producing catastrophic results.
At Life Saver Pool Fence, water safety is always on our mind. Today, let’s explore some hurricane safety tips. These basic preparations aim to keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.
Hurricane Safety Tips
When a storm arrives, it’s officially too late to prepare. The best hurricane safety tip is to prepare your family and home as far in advance as possible.
Develop a Family Disaster Plan
This is the most critical hurricane safety tip of all. As you’ll see, creating a working family disaster plan can seem like a hassle, but it is ideal for surviving the worst of a storm.
To get started, take some time to practice “where to go” and “what to do” with each and every member of your family if a weather disaster occurs. By this, we mean that you should cover this important information with each person individually. This way, you’ll be absolutely sure that everyone knows their responsibilities.
Here are some topics to cover:
- Learn your nearest evacuation routes before a disaster begins.
- Secure a place to stay in case of evacuation. If your family disaster plan includes spending the night in a hotel, book a room beforehand if the forecast predicts a weather disaster. In times of trouble, lodging can quickly become crowded and overbooked.
- Identify a central meeting place in case your family gets separated.
- Designate an out-of-town emergency contact person. In the event that someone goes missing, they’ll know who to reach out to.
- Make sure your children understand how and when to call 911.
- Subscribe to any and all local emergency text alerts. These can tip you off to rescue situations, road closings and potential threats.
- Before a storm hits, download FEMA’s mobile app. In case you’re left exposed to the elements, the app can help direct you to the closest shelter.
- Plan to pre-evacuate your pets. During an emergency, many dogs and cats suffer the worst fates. Far too often, the animals are left behind in flooding houses or remain tied up in their owner’s yard. Well-meaning owners may intend to return, but if the roads are closed, that may not be possible. Instead, decide with your family who should care for the pets ahead of time. Then, be sure to drop them off at your emergency contact’s home before the storm arrives. You’ll be glad you did.
Prepare Your Home
Clear Any Leaves or Debris from Drains and Gutters
Make sure your drains and gutters are clear of debris. You’ll need those drains to flow as easily as possible in order to keep excess water from gathering and causing damage.
Clean Up the Yard
If you have bikes, small grills, garbage cans or anything else in your yard, be sure to get those items out of the elements! They could easily float away. If things are really intense, the wind may turn them into dangerous flying projectiles.
Get Your Car Under Cover
If you are lucky enough to have a garage, you should absolutely move your car inside. This will prevent the vehicle from taking damage from the elements. If you’re caught behind the wheel, we’ve written another blog with some helpful tips for driving safely in the rain.
Unplug Your Gear!
Charge your batteries ahead of time and unplug any appliances or electronics. During a storm, you never know when lightning will strike. A stray bolt of lightning can destroy your appliances and even electrocute you if you happen to be holding one.
Secure Any Loose Objects or Furniture
If you have lightweight items around, be sure to tie them down. Find a way to secure any furniture or appliances that might become airborne during a hurricane.
Speaking of your possessions, flooding can happen suddenly, so beware a false sense of security. It’s better to think ahead and move your most valuable possessions to a higher floor so that they don’t float away or suffer water damage.
Avoid the Windows
Above all, stay away from the windows during an active storm. The glass can shatter, injuring anyone standing nearby. FEMA has many helpful tips for securing your windows and home against the elements. These are excellent hurricane safety guides that work during any major disaster.
With any luck, you’ll never have to deal with such a large weather disaster. However, if you do, these hurricane safety tips will hopefully be enough to keep you and your family a bit safer during a storm.