How To Survive A Hurricane

hurricane collage
hurricane collage

If you live in an area of the country where hurricanes routinely strike, learning how to survive a hurricane is one of the survival skills that you must master. 

When you live in an area where hurricanes are frequent, you have to realize that it's not a matter of if a major storm hits, a matter of when it does. When that hurricane does come you can't argue or reason with it, all you can do is rely upon your training and preparations to help you and your family to survive its fury.

So if you live in a region where hurricanes are common, and you haven't prepared yourself for dealing with one, then you are placing your life and the lives of your family in danger. As a Father and Husband, you have a responsibility to ensure that your family is kept safe and that they are provided for no matter what happens. While you can't predict most major disasters when it comes to hurricanes you can. So if you know that hurricanes are frequent events where you live, and you aren't prepared, then you are willingly putting your family in harm's Way.

Start By Storing Supplies

One thing that you should start doing today, if you haven't already done it, is storing supplies so that you and your family can shelter in place in your home if need be. During a major hurricane, the last thing you want is to be out on the road. If you can't get out of the area before it hits then the safest thing to do is to stay inside and wait for the storm out. Of course, if you live in an area known for flooding it should have never come to this point, and you should have gotten out of the area long ago. But if you are either by choice or not stuck in your home during a hurricane, you are going to need supplies to survive on until the storm has passed.

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The first thing that will usually happen during any major storm is the power will go out. That means no refrigeration and no means of cooking food in the kitchen. So to prepare for this, you need to have plenty of non-perishable food items on hand. Foods such as canned goods and dehydrated foods are great choices here. Foods that have a long shelf life don’t need refrigeration or cooking is ideal for sheltering in place during a hurricane. Another important factor that your survival will depend on is keeping your food supply from being destroyed by flooding. A lot of people store their food in a basement or cellar, which is a good place to store it for most disaster situations. But during a hurricane, the most likely place for flooding in your basement. So if you want to keep food stored in the basement, make sure it is on elevated shelving. Then as an extra precaution make sure that you also have a good supply stored at the top of a pantry, or if you are in a two-story home then store it upstairs.

While it might seem funny to have to worry about storing water during a hurricane and heavy flooding, it's still something you should do. Water on the ground during a flood is going to be contaminated, so you won't be able to drink it safely. Tap water might still be okay to drink, but it's always possible that a water line gets broken during the flood so you won't have access to tap water. As a general rule of thumb, you need to store enough water for you and your family to survive for a week. It would also be a good idea to get a life straw, or other filtration systems so that you can process any flood water you encounter.

In addition to food and water, you need to have emergency medical supplies stored in a safe place. During a hurricane, there's a good chance that emergency services will not be able to get to you if you have an emergency. So be prepared by knowing basic first aid and having medical supplies on hand is a must. You should also make sure that you have flashlights, batteries, candles, fire making supplies, and a working cell phone in your home so that you can survive during a hurricane and the aftermath.

Follow Evacuation Instructions From The Authorities

fema app

Install the FEMA App (from the Official website of the Department of Homeland Security)

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, most people will be able to recall seeing being trapped on the roofs of their homes trying to escape the flood waters. While this was a tragic scene, the reality is that those people only had themselves to blame for their predicament. Evacuation orders had been given well ahead of time, and some people chose to ignore them foolishly. So let me be very clear if the authorities tell you that it's time to get out then you better listen. They aren't trying to trick you or deceive you in any way; they are trying to save your life and the lives of your family.

The thing to remember about evacuations during a hurricane or any other type of disaster is that people panic. Most people don't do well when faced with a lot of stress, and as a result, there are traffic jams, accidents, and other things of that nature that make it hard for you to get out of town. This is why you need to get a jump on everyone else if you are told you have to evacuate. Having a bug out bag with essential supplies is one way to help to do this. Instead of frantically panicking and trying to pack after an evacuation order has been given, you simply grab your bug out bag, throw it in the car, and hit the road.

In keeping with the idea that being prepared for a hurricane is the best way to ensure you survive, there's no reason that you should be sitting at home and waiting to be told to evacuate. Modern technology allows you to monitor the weather easily, so if you see a storm coming you should be able to evacuate before an order to do so has been given. As long as it is safe to travel getting out of the area ahead of everyone else is a great way to avoid both aggravation and potential dangerous floods and winds.

Preparing The Exterior Of Your Home For A Hurricane

When you live in an area that is known for hurricanes, you should have emergency supplies on hand to help fortify your home and prepare it for the powerful winds and torrential rains that are coming. The first things you should have are storm shutters. These are heavy duty wooden coverings that you can close up to cover your windows. During a hurricane, the winds alone can cause your windows to break. When you factor in flying debris combined with these winds, and then it shouldn't be surprising that any unprotected windows will be unlikely to survive a major hurricane.

If you don't have storm shutters on your home, then the next best thing is plywood and nails. When you hear that a storm will be arriving in a day or two now is the time to start covering those windows. Make sure that you hammer the nails into the window frame or other studs to make sure that they are securely in place. You also need to make sure that you cover the entire window so that you don't end up having parts of it broken during the storm. While you are boarding up your windows, don't also forget to board up any exterior glass doors you have in your home.

So why is it so important to protect your windows and glass doors during a hurricane? First of all, if you don't, then you are going to end up paying a good amount of money to have the broken glass replaced. Second, if the windows are broken then you are going to have shards of glass flying through your home at high speeds. Glass traveling at this speed is extremely dangerous and can easily injure or kill you or another family member. The final reason, and maybe even the most frightening, is that when winds can enter your home through broken windows and doors, they may have enough power to blow the roof off of your house. Not only is this very expensive to repair, it then exposes you and your family to the full brunt of the storm.

After you have your windows covered, you may want to place sandbags around your home. By placing sandbags around the edges of your home, with extra attention paid to doorways, you can help to keep the flood waters out even as they continue to rise. Sandbags aren't foolproof, and there's always a chance that they will not be enough, but they are still a better option than simply accepting that your home is going to flood.

What To Do During The Storm

At this point, you will either be in pretty good shape because you’re prepared, or you will be sitting in your home praying for a miracle. During the storm you should avoid using a landline phone, anything plugged into an outlet, and also any plumbing. Lightning strikes can travel through phone and electrical lines, and also through pipes. So during a storm, the best thing you can do is to get to a central room in your house, one without doors and windows, and simply try to remain calm. Most homes built in areas where there are hurricanes and constructed to withstand them. So just sit down, use flashlights to keep the room illuminated, and do your best to keep calm and keep your family calm.

What To Do Following The Storm

After a hurricane has passed, you need to show a lot of patience. Following a major hurricane, it's going to take some time for cleanup and repair crews to get the thing working again. During this time you should stay on your property and rely upon the supplies you have stored. It's possible that others in your areas were not as well prepared as you are, so you need to be wary of them possibly acting desperately and trying to steal what you have. A lack of food and water for a few days can make your once friendly neighbors into violent looters willing to do whatever they can to survive.

When you do venture outside make sure that the storm has passed. You can look at the sky, but listening to weather reports is a much safer and more accurate approach. Once outside you can survey your property and see what kind of damage was done. You need to be careful when doing this because there could be unstable structures that are in danger of collapsing. There may also be downed power lines, which should be reported, and also areas where flooding is bad enough to present a drowning risk should you fall into the water.

Final Thoughts

Hurricanes are among the most dangerous natural phenomenon it the world and they need to be treated with respect. Always pay attention to the weather in your area, and if you are told to evacuate then do it right away. As a general rule, you should always have food, water, and other necessities stored in your home in case of an emergency. If you don't then this is something you should remedy sooner rather than later. While a hurricane can be terrifying if you remain calm and prepare ahead of time you and your family should be able to make it through the storm just fine. Just remember that ignoring something as deadly as a hurricane can be a fatal mistake. So take the time to start making preparations today so that when a hurricane hits, you will be ready to weather the storm while keeping your family safe and protected.

Up Next: How To Prepare For A Hurricane

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