Hurricane Safety Tips
Hurricanes are dangerous for everyone, but older adults, in particular, need to take extra precautions to stay safe during a storm. If you live in an area that experiences hurricanes or tropical storms, it's important that you prepare before disaster strikes. This can help keep both your home and your health protected when bad weather hits!
Avoid Flooded Areas
To keep yourself safe, avoid areas where flood waters have risen significantly. Flood water may be contaminated with sewage and other hazardous materials like oil. It can also sweep you away if it’s moving quickly.
Follow Evacuation Instructions
Evacuation instructions will be given by local authorities. If you are told to evacuate, follow those instructions and go to a safe location. If you have pets, make sure they are with you in the car or escape vehicle of your choice. If you have elderly or disabled family members who cannot travel on their own, get them to a safe place as well.
If an evacuation order is given, do not delay! Everyone should leave as soon as possible because delays could put lives at risk.
Know Your Area’s Risk
You should know the risk of floods and landslides in your area. These natural disasters can be very dangerous and cause damage to homes, roads and property.
Floods are often caused by heavy rain or snow melt, which causes rivers or streams to overflow their banks. Flooding can also occur when dams break, after earthquakes or during hurricanes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a "flood map" that shows areas at risk for flooding based on elevation above sea level and rainfall data from historical events. This map can help you determine if your home is at risk for flooding.
Plan and Practice
Know your area’s risk of floods and landslides. Know where you can go if you need to evacuate. Practice driving routes to your safe location. If possible, leave early enough that roads are less congested for other people who may be evacuating as well.
Prepare an Emergency Kit and Make a Family Communications Plan
To prepare for a hurricane or storm:
- Make an emergency kit that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlight, first-aid kit, water (1 gallon per person per day,) non-perishable food, and extra batteries.
- Get your car’s emergency kit out of the trunk and learn how to use it.
- Make sure you have enough water, food and medication for your family.
- Make plans for reuniting with your family after the storm if they are not at home.
Download the Emergency App
Download the emergency app to receive real-time alerts and information on severe weather in your area. You will need a data plan with your wireless carrier to use this app. Please check with your carrier for details on how much it will cost to add a new line or change your current plan. Make sure you have enough space on your phone for the app.
Do not Drive Around Barricades or Through Flooded Roads
As you are making your way through the storm and trying to stay safe, there are certain things you should not do. Do not drive around barricades or through flooded roads. If you encounter a barricade, do not try to drive around it. The police officers who placed these barricades there have done so to keep people out of danger.
Do not drive into water that is over your vehicle's fenders or deeper than 12 inches; if your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground before the water rises further. Do not attempt to cross bridges that have been flooded; instead take an alternate route until after heavy rains subside when these structures have had time to dry out and stabilize themselves against any possible collapse due to fractures in their foundations or structural integrity issues caused by flooding damage over time (which could happen during even small amounts of rainfall).
It is important that you become familiar with hurricanes to ensure your safety in the event of one hitting your location.
Preparing for a hurricane:
- Install hurricane shutters on windows and doors. In some cases, these can be purchased from stores that sell storm-related products. If you are unable to find them in stores, they can also be found online or purchased from a local contractor who specializes in installing them for homes and businesses.
- Fill any containers with water (buckets, trash cans) so that you have access to clean drinking water if needed during or after an emergency situation like a hurricane strike. Keep them stored away from windows where rain could enter into these containers and contaminate whatever water remains inside once it rains heavily during landfall season (June through November).
It's also smart not only because it makes sense but because locals know how dangerous it can get when there's no power available -- especially in places where temperatures rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit!
We hope that you have learned a lot from these tips. We want everyone to be safe in the event of a hurricane, but we also know that it is important for people to take action on their own behalf. The more prepared you are, the better off you are going to be when something like this happens.