Every year, we get 10 tropical storms; out of those 10, 6 develop into hurricanes. It may not sound like much, but this is an instance of quality over quantity.
If you're in a hurricane zone, you'll know exactly how devastating one can be. While they're only around for 12 to 24 hours on average, hurricanes leave behind such destruction that it takes years to recover at times.
It may be worrying going through a hurricane, but short of moving, there's nothing you can do besides prepping your home. In this article, we'll discuss how to prepare for a hurricane so your family is ready for the next one.
Have Your Evacuation Route Down Pat
No one wants to think about it, but you may have to evacuate your beloved home if the storm is bad enough. A good start is to research what your local government suggests as an evacuation route for your area.
From there, you can have an extended discussion with your family about meeting points and other plans. For example, you can assign certain responsibilities to certain people; Mom will gather up the important documents, and Dad will load up the car.
Make sure you don't forget to include your pets in the plan! In moments of panic, people forget to check for their pets and unfortunately, these critters end up forgotten, lost, and sometimes even dead.
Once you've drawn up an evacuation route and plan, have your family do a test run. Not only does this allow you to familiarize yourselves with the plan, but it also lets you see which points need improvement. That way, you're completely ready for the real thing.
Create an Emergency Stash of Non-Perishable Supplies
Chances are, you'll experience more than one hurricane in your lifetime. So before a warning even goes out for one, you should create an emergency stash of non-perishable supplies so you can beat the crowd. You also won't have to worry about items you need being out of stock, since in normal times, the shelves won't be cleared.
In your emergency stash, you should have:
- Batteries of different sizes and voltages
- A flashlight
- A first aid kit (antiseptic, bandages, dressing, gauze pads, non-latex gloves, scissors, tweezers)
- Over-the-counter drugs like aspirin
- Spare prescription drugs
- Toilet paper
- Feminine hygiene items
- Garbage bags
- Non-perishable foods, such as canned fruit and beans
- Matches and/or lighters
- A basic toolkit, including items needed for basic emergency home repairs
In this stash, you should also have all your important documents, such as birth certificates, passports, wills, insurance policies, deeds, and family records. Make sure all of these items are packed up in a convenient case or box so you can grab it and go if you need to evacuate.
Also, check this emergency stash from time to time. Batteries, prescription drugs, and canned foods have expiration dates, so you'll need to replace them as time goes on.
Stock up on Water
Know one thing: you can never have too much water stored. In fact, this is one of the things that runs out quickly, and the human body can't last too long without it. Plus, you need it for other purposes, such as cleaning and cooking.
If you know a storm is about to hit, make sure you grab some palettes of bottled water. Stack them up in your garage; even if you don't use them for this storm, they'll last a while, meaning you won't have to grab some more for the next hurricane.
Should a storm be imminent, run the tap everywhere you can to gather as much water as you can. Plug your sinks and tubs, and fill them up. If you have any empty jugs or bottles, fill those up too.
Learn more about the various ways to store water at home so you'll be prepared, no matter what circumstance you're in.
Prepare Your Home
You may have a beautiful landscape for your home, but that can soon turn from prettiness to deadliness within seconds when a hurricane arrives. There are some compromises you can make to still have the home of your dreams and stay safe in storms.
Rock and gravel should be replaced with a lighter material, such as shredded bark. You should already perform regular landscaping maintenance to keep weak and dead branches cut. This reduces the possibility of them flying around and damaging your property.
If you haven't already, you should install storm shutters on your windows, get hurricane-proof exterior doors, and replace any sliding glass doors with ones that have tempered glass.
Preparations for Your Pets
If you have pets, you need to have a backup plan for them as well. For cats and dogs, put ID tags on their collars so if they get lost, people know where to return them to. Also, keep a spare carrier ready to go so you can get them in and put them in the car if you have to evacuate.
Create a small emergency stash/box for them as well. Put a week's worth of food in there, as well as any medications they need.
Also, speak to family and/or friends who live out-of-state to see if they're willing to be your emergency contact in case of a bad hurricane. That way, if you're staying anywhere that doesn't allow pets, you can send them onto your loved ones for them to temporarily take care of your furry friends.
Know How to Prepare for a Hurricane
If you know how to prepare for a hurricane, you can save your family a lot of trouble in the future. It's already stressful enough going through a bad storm, so take a lot of the anxiety and discomfort away by utilizing our tips for preparation.
With a little bit of time invested in getting everything ready, you and your loved ones can ride out the storm with little to no troubles.
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