When it comes to dealing with Mother Nature’s fury, the best thing you can do is prepare to reduce the impact these natural disasters can have. Follow some of these basic steps in our hurricane preparedness guide to keep you and your entire family safe during hurricane season.
9 Tips to Prepare Your Family for Hurricane Season
1. Create a hurricane action plan
Make hurricane plans well in advance of the season. Put it all together and remember to do the following from the start:
- Study the categories of hurricanes. This is very important when evaluating how much preparation you may need.
- Order supplies and materials in advance, especially those not available in your area.
- Don’t make the mistake of buying in this last-minute rush.
- Gather important documents you may need to bring with you if your home is severely damaged by Mother Nature’s fury.
- This is also a great time to check your insurance policies and make sure they are always up to date.
- Create a list of emergency numbers in your area. Place them near your phones and store them in your mobiles as well.
- Review your entire hurricane preparedness plan with your family so everyone knows what to do in any scenario. This should ensure that no one in the family panics in the face of such disasters.
2. Prioritize water
In any disaster scenario, water should be your priority when gathering supplies.
- Make sure you maintain a water supply of at least one gallon per person in your household per day.
- Your water supply should be good for at least 3 days, but preferably 2 weeks.
- You can buy sealed, purified drinking water for about a dollar a gallon at your local grocery store.
- If your budget is tight, you can buy water cans instead and fill them with water for storage.
3. Keep the lines of communication open
Having the ability to stay in touch with the outside world is essential in the event of disasters. This should help you get the information you need, especially during the height of a hurricane, and get help if needed.
Unfortunately, if the power goes out due to a hurricane, you will need to find alternative means of communication. Make sure you have them with you:
- Your cell phone or even an old-fashioned crank radio.
- Hand crank mobile phone charger as well.
- Power banks, make sure they are fully charged before the hurricane hits.
5. Gather your supplies
Every hurricane preparedness plan will tell you to stockpile food in advance. Make sure you buy food that will last at least a few months.
If it can put a bit of a dent in your budget, slowly build up your emergency food supply. Start by gathering food supplies that will initially last up to 3 days. From there, slowly work your way up until you have food that is good for at least 2 weeks.
To make sure they don’t go to waste, keep a list of the items in your inventory. Keep track of their expiration dates and replace those that are about to expire. Use them in your kitchen and exchange them for a new set on your next trip to the grocery store.
If you can, try to buy food that your family prefers. This should help keep morale up, which is a must in the face of disasters.
Do you have pets? It is also important to prepare for their needs.
6. Build an emergency kit
In addition to the items listed above, an emergency kit should include at least the following items:
- First aid kit
- Water filtration system
- Hygiene supplies include paper towels, baby wipes, bleach, heavy-duty garbage bags, etc.
- Light sources such as flashlights or candles and matches
- Insect repellents
- Prescription and other over-the-counter medications
Keep them all in one place and preferably in a container that can be easily transported. This will come in handy if your family needs to evacuate at some point.
You should also note and obtain any special medications your family may need. Your local pharmacies may not be easily accessible after the hurricane passes.
7. Prepare your home for a hurricane
Before disaster strikes, check the contents of your toolbox.
Basic content should include:
- some screws
- adhesive tape
- plywood and tarps ready in your garage in case your house needs repairs after a hurricane.
Then get out of your house and inspect it for possible hazards. If there are things that can be taken away, such as bicycles, garden furniture, barbecues etc., store them at home.
Also, check the roof of your house. You may want to reinforce the nails on your home’s roof to make sure they stay safe after a hurricane. This should also be a good time to get rid of any leaves that might be blocking your gutters.
Also, if you have trees around your house, trim any branches that could break and damage your house. You can also secure the windows by covering them with strips of plywood from the exterior frames.
8. Prepare for evacuation
When it comes to hurricane preparedness, evacuation should always be a scenario you are prepared for. Keep your ears open for announcements on news channels that it’s time to vent. When you hear it, do it immediately.
How to prepare for evacuation:
- Start by filling up your car’s gas tank at least 2 days before a hurricane.
- It is also ideal to have a separate emergency kit in the car.
- Bring only the essentials, such as your ID, cell phones and chargers, cash, and an emergency kit (if you don’t already have one in your car).
- Also, remember to turn off the main power to your home.
- Follow the paths you established earlier and turn on the radio to see if any of them are already blocked by flooding or fallen debris.
9. Prepare some entertainment
In a world dependent on electronic devices, a power outage is one of the hardest things to deal with. When this happens, make sure you and your family have something to keep you entertained, as power may not return as quickly once the hurricane passes.
- Old wallets and magazines
- Craft activities such as knitting
- Painting or cross stitch
- Old-fashioned puzzles and board games.
In times of emergency such as these, it is of the utmost importance that morale remains high and that tempers do not interfere with proper responses to emergencies. Keep the morale of your family members entertained during the disaster.
If you’re done with all of the hurricane preparedness tips above, maybe take it up a notch by building your own waterproof underground bunker and food storage. Learn how with this video courtesy of Atlas Survival Shelters:
No matter what you want, you can never stop a hurricane or tropical storm. However, with the comprehensive hurricane preparedness guide we’ve put together above, you should be fully equipped for the entire hurricane season.