There are few natural disasters that can be as frightening as a hurricane. After the catastrophic damage that Hurricane Katrina caused, none of us has an excuse for being lazy in our preparations.
Preparing for a hurricane can literally mean the difference between life and death. The following are some simple guidelines that you can use to help get yourself prepared for a hurricane.....
If you live in a hurricane prone area, begin to prepare for a storm even before hurricane season starts. Trying to get prepared once you hear a storm is coming can be difficult and can lead to mistakes.
Prepare an emergency disaster kit in case you must evacuate. Make sure that your kit includes a first aid kit, any medications that your family will need, drinking water, sleeping bags, canned food (with a can opener), flashlights and a radio.
In addition, it is a very good idea to have your most important documents ready to take with you in a waterproof container. You don't want them getting destroyed by the hurricane.
Have an evacuation route planned well in advance. If you do have to evacuate it will be much simpler if you are not trying to decipher a map on the fly. Know where you are going and how you are going to get there.
Have a plan for your pets. Will you be taking them with you? If so, do you need to bring anything along for their needs? If you are leaving them behind, do you have a plan for their food and water needs? Will they have adequate shelter?
We all saw what Hurricane Katrina did to abandoned pets. Don't let your pet end up like one of them.
One thing that people often don't think of is the need to secure any lose objects. Anything out in the yard that the wind can pick up can literally become a dangerous missile during a hurricane. Make sure everything outside of your house is secured.
Which brings us to our next point - the most vulnerable points of your home during a hurricane are your windows. Do whatever is necessary to make sure that they are secure. If you need to board them up, then board them up.
Some people have hurricane shutters on their homes and that is a great idea. The last thing that you want is for a hurricane to break a bunch of windows and then for your home to be flooded with water.
If you are not planning to evacuate, make sure that you have enough supplies for at least a couple of weeks. You will need food, water and medical supplies for your whole family. In addition, you are likely to lose power during the storm, so have flashlights and a battery powered radio ready to go. If it is a really bad storm you may be without power for an extended period, so plan accordingly.
After the storm is over, wait until government officials say everything is okay. Often it is the time AFTER the storm that is the most dangerous. Most people do not realize that more people usually die after a hurricane than during one.
The roads are often very hazardous at this point, and downed power lines are likely to be everywhere. In addition, public water supplies may have been contaminated by the storm, so drink bottled water until you are given an indication that everything is okay.
A hurricane is not fun for anybody, but if you follow these simple steps it will give you and your family a better chance of coming through a storm smoothly.