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Hurricane Preparedness

Emergency & Survival Gear

Of all nature’s storms, none is more dangerous than a hurricane. These tropical storms strike the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal regions each year from June to November.

With winds that can exceed 155 miles per hour, hurricanes possess amazing destructive capabilities, but if you are prepared you can protect your home and, if you are unable to leave the area, survive one of these storms. View our Hurricane Checklist.

Here’s how:

Before the Storm
Become a prepper. You must know what in your home is in danger of being destroyed and what outside your home could aid in that destruction. Remember, with winds of up to 155 mph, the outside of your property is apt to look very different after the hurricane passes. Make sure you have accomplished the following tasks before the hurricane arrives:

  • Pack a first aid kit. This kit should include: bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, scissors, tweezers, thermometer, CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield, and a first-aid manual. A good quality portable first aid kit is a great place to start.
  • Learn more about your property. What is your property’s elevation? Are you on the floodplain? Knowing the answers to these questions will prepare you for the quantity of water you can expect once the hurricane arrives. It’s also a good idea to review the trees and bushes on your property. Remove dead branches or dead trees as they will be thrown about in a hurricane. If a live tree is near your home and it could be blown over onto your house, you may need to cut it down.
  • Learn more about your community. Are there any dams or levees near your home that could break or overflow during the hurricane? You should also learn the community evacuation routes and determine where you would go if you need to evacuate.
  • Cover your windows.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts.
  • Secure your garage doors, any outdoor furniture and your boat – if you own one.
  • Expect your power to go out and install a generator ahead of time.

During the Storm
Your preparation will pay off when a storm actually hits. If you remain in your home during the storm, remember to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stay away from doors and windows. Even though you’ve closed or barricaded these windows, standing near them poses unnecessary risk.
  • Keep the radio or the television on so you can hear information updates.
  • Turn off your propane tank and shut off electrical power, if advised to do so. It’s also a good idea to set your refrigerator to the coldest setting and keep the door closed, this way you will keep the food inside cold as long as possible if there is a power outage.
  • Fill your bathtub and additional containers with water to ensure you’ll have sanitary water throughout the storm and after.
  • Leave if you must. If you live in a mobile home, temporary structure, high-rise building, on the coast or in a floodplain, you should evacuate the area if advised to do so by authorities. To remain behind could put you and your family’s survival at unnecessary risk.

After the Storm
The storm is over and you and your family have made it through the disaster just fine thanks to your preparedness. But be careful before you head outside because extended rainfall or flooding can still be a danger even after the hurricane has passed. Once the hurricane is over you should:

  • Continue to listen to the radio or television for updates. This is how you will find out if it is really safe to go outside.
  • Drive only if you must and stay off flooded roads. If you have prepared, you shouldn’t need to leave and it will be to your benefit not to.
  • If you lost power, avoid using candles. A flashlight is a much safer option.
  • Avoid using tap water immediately after the storm, in case it has been contaminated.
  • Inspect your home for damage and take photos to record that damage for insurance purposes.
  • Avoid making calls unless it’s an emergency, others who did not prepare as well as you did likely need the line more.
  • Operate generators outdoors in areas with plenty of ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not operate them in the house.