How important is hurricane safety? When you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, at some point you may face evacuation orders when a weather system strengthens. If so, you’ll need to know how to prepare for the approaching conditions. Today we’re sharing our hurricane safety tips to prepare you for potential evacuation.
Hurricane safety essentials
Instituting an emergency plan in case you need to leave your home in a hurry can keep your family safe. It will relieve some of the pressure of coping with the outcome of a natural disaster.
Emergency Bag: A key part of a hurricane safety plan is to put together an emergency bag for each member of your family in preparation for a quick exit. These bags should be able to get you through at least 72 hours after you’ve reached a safer place.
Here are some items to include in your hurricane safety bag:
- Prescription medications
- Hygienic products
- First aid kit, water
- Nonperishable food
- Emergency radio
- Change of clothes, including socks and underwear
You should also scan, copy, and email important documents to yourself. This is helpful in case your memory drive gets lost. If you save documents on a memory drive, be sure to store them in a waterproof place. And don’t forget to create digital copies of irreplaceable items such as family photos as part of your hurricane safety plan.
Once your bags are prepared, it’s time to devise a plan for evacuating with short notice.
Hurricane safety evacuation plan
Four hours prior to evacuation: This will give you sufficient time to call family and friends to let them know where you’re going. It’s a good time to ensure that your home and property are secured by closing gas lines, checking water drainage, removing debris to avoid drainage problems, and waterproofing your backpacks or bags.
Gather some canned food, candles, sleeping bags, and waterproof candles. Then contact local shelters to determine if they can accommodate your family and pets.
At the last minute, you may not be able to locate what you need or remember what you need to take. So do yourself a big favor and prepare a ready-to-go hurricane safety emergency kit and have it in an available place.
Two hours prior to evacuation: With two hours left before evacuation, grab your bag and bring along additional clothing, a pair of shoes and a blanket. You should also take photos of how your belongings and house look before you leave in case there is damage, and you need to provide them to your insurance company. If any of your family members have issues with mobility, bring along whatever items they will need to be comfortable.
30 minutes prior to evacuation: With only 30 minutes left before you evacuate, you and your family members should get their bags and make sure they each have some type of personal ID together with documents like health insurance cards, bank cards, and birth certificates.
Hurricane safety priorities
If you don’t have an emergency kit prepared at this point, just grab a backpack and fill it with necessary items that you can locate them quickly. If not, just grab a change of clothing, documents, water, nonperishable foods, cash, your phone and charger, and then leave your home.
Don’t forget your pets as part of your hurricane safety plan! Be sure to bring emergency information including a photo, water, food, vaccine information, and owner contact information. If you can’t take them with you, leave them in a secure place with water and food, but don’t chain or tie them and don’t leave them outside in the elements.
Once you feel you’ve done all you can to secure your home and you’re making your way to the car, FEMA recommends turning off your main water valve. Also, disable your main electricity source if you can before you leave the house.
It’s crucial that you begin preparing for evacuation as soon as you know that a storm in your direction. If you wait for an evacuation order to be issued before making preparations, it may be too late.
We care about you and your family! Because of the damaging power of a hurricane, please don’t ignore an evacuation order. Once ordered, leave as quickly as possible, keeping these hurricane safety tips in mind!