When looking for hurricane safety tips, most people think about how to protect themselves, their homes and their local community from howling winds and rising waters. However, a lot of things go into staying safe during hurricane season and knowing the right hurricane safety tips can help you avoid tragedy. Hurricane season in the United States runs from June 1 through November 30 each year, so knowing how to prepare for a hurricane during these months is important, whether your town faces a Category 5 hurricane, a storm surge, tropical storms, or flooding near the coast. Use these tips to improve your safety during a hurricane.
What To Do During a Hurricane
1. Be wary of metal and water.
When power lines come down in a storm, they can energize other lines, as well as metal fences, buildings, and mailboxes. Because metal is a conductor of electricity, dangerous electrical currents are able to easily flow through it, putting those close in contact to charged metal at risk. Similarly, water is a conductor of electricity and can have dangerous capabilities when charged, making standing water a possible threat. As a result, use great caution and avoid any potential path for electric current. Always pay close attention to your surroundings and use caution when moving through a storm-affected area if you cannot remain indoors.
2. Avoid driving in hurricane-affected areas.
One of the best safety tips about hurricanes is to stay out of their way. Driving in, or immediately after, a hurricane can put you in harm’s way, but of course, it may be necessary to get your family to a safe area. If you must drive, watch for downed power lines, tree limbs, and other debris that may be blocking the road. Never drive over a downed line because it can use your car as a conductor. Especially if your area is experiencing flooding, do not operate your vehicle, as just two feet of water can cause a car to float. Stay in a safe spot and call 911.
3. Turn off your electricity at home.
Even if the power is out, it can come back on without warning, causing a potentially hazardous situation. Before you begin assessing the damage in your home after a storm, turn off the main breaker to the home. If you come home and find a burning smell or find visible electrical damage, notably in wiring, keep your electricity turned off until you have a professional come to your home and make repairs.
4. Use caution when cleaning up.
Of course, it’s hard to remember all the safety tips about hurricanes when you’re involved with cleaning up in the aftermath. The emotional toll of a bad storm can cause you to lose focus, but it’s important to use common sense when picking up the pieces after a storm. Never underestimate emergency preparedness, and make sure to wear protective gear, like hard-soled rubber boots shoes, a hard hat, gloves, and protective eyewear, and make sure there are no dangerous items or areas before proceeding with clean-up efforts. Be sure as you clean up to remove water from your surfaces and utilize dehumidifiers to reduce the likelihood of the formation of mold.
5. Watch for fire.
Power lines are structures that are responsible for passing electrical energy across vast stretches. Commonly, these lines run overhead of roads and residential areas. When this electricity is able to come in contact with the likes of grassy areas or other objects, it can start a fire. In the event you have a run-in with a power line, you may find yourself fighting a blaze. If your car is the object on fire, open the door, stand on the floorboard, and jump as far away from the car as possible, being careful not to touch the car as you exit.
6. Never assume a line is safe.
A common occurrence during hurricanes is for power lines to be knocked down. They may still be active, even though this might not be detected from sight alone, so always treat it as such just in case. At any moment, lines can become reenergized and create an electrocution hazard, so stay clear and do not try to move them. In the event you spot a power line that has fallen, call 911 immediately.
7. Reinforce Your Garage Doors
The force of the wind during hurricanes is known to get over one-hundred miles per hour and cause heavy damage to buildings and areas. One way hurricanes are known to devastate houses are by ripping into garages and tearing them apart. Not only can damage be done to the interior of the house this way but because garages are the spaces that hold cars and other modes of transportation, hurricanes can wreak havoc on the vehicles within them. To prevent this from happening, garage doors can be reinforced. This will ensure that your things are protected from damage and will help prevent you from paying the cost of expensive repairs.
8. Stay Safe by Keeping Up With The Storm
As conditions grow better or worse and action needs to be taken, it is critical that individuals are able to respond to instruction in a timely fashion. Evacuation orders may be issued, at which time it is crucial to heed warnings and follow in the appropriate course of action. Because of that, during a hurricane, those shut in by the storm need to listen in on the news and updates about the situation. There are a number of battery powered radios and televisions that will enable correspondence even in the event that electricity has been knocked out during the storm.
9. When in doubt, stay indoors.
Want to know how to survive a hurricane with the best odds? Take shelter and stay indoors, as far from the windows as possible. Keep a charged phone nearby if you need to call for help. If the electricity goes out, eat dry food from the pantry and do your best to avoid opening the fridge or freezer to avoid spoiling the food inside. Remember that a hurricane is only temporary, and it is best to wait it out in a safe, indoor location rather than trying to ignore it and go about every day life.