For anyone who’s ever experienced a hurricane, you know it can be a less-than-fun experience. Heavy rains, flooding, hail, winds, and tornadoes are just some of the elements that can create a catastrophic impact along coastlines.
Keeping you and your family safe is always first priority in the unfortunate event of a hurricane, and being prepared is the best way to do this. The following tips aren’t only relevant in the event of a hurricane, but can also be applied during other natural disasters and emergencies.
1. Use common sense.
Again, safety first. Avoid taking unnecessary risks, like driving or walking through high water or waiting it out to the point that staying is your only option (when you really should’ve evacuated).
2. Create an emergency plan.
Everything included in this post could be considered part of an emergency plan. What’s important is to leave no stone unturned. Consider your family, pets, work, finances/money, communication, transportation, location, etc. when devising an emergency plan. Ready.gov has some great tips on creating an emergency plan.
3. Prepare a communication strategy.
Connect with your family to discuss how you plan to communicate to let each other know you’re OK if a hurricane were to hit. Who will call who? How will you communicate? Often, text messaging works better than phone calls when towers are down. Also, consider deciding on a meeting place where you can all rendezvous by a particular time. This will be helpful in the event that other means of communication are not available due to tower and power outages.
From a work perspective, many companies have an emergency hotline you can call to confirm you’re OK, get office closures, and determine next steps in the event of a natural disaster. Be sure you know the number.
4. Create an emergency or disaster kit.
Having a kit that has the essentials for you to live off of for at least 72 hours—water, food, medications, cash (in case ATMs are down), and additional necessary supplies—will help keep you safe if you happen to end up stranded or without means of transportation to leave the scene of a natural disaster.
5. Stay informed.
Leading up to a hurricane, access a website, TV station, or radio station that can keep you informed and up-to-date as to a storm’s progress. Take heed of warnings and suggestions for preparing and/or evacuating.
During and after a hurricane, use your company’s hotline mentioned above to stay informed from a work perspective. From a personal perspective, use available means of communication to stay informed, and keep others informed, when necessary.
For more information on hurricanes and hurricane preparedness, consider visiting the Redcross and Ready.Gov websites.
Be prepared, and stay safe this hurricane season!