Hurricanes can cause damage in many ways, with powerful winds, torrential rains, and inundating storm surges. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Know the difference between the threat levels and plan accordingly. Here are some hurricane safety tips that can help:
- Have plenty of non-perishable food and water on hand. Make sure battery-operated radios and flashlights are available and have an ample supply of batteries.
- Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting in case power goes off. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.
- Have a first aid kit available and make sure there is an adequate supply of prescription drugs and other medicines on hand for those who require them.
- Store important documents such as insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers, and social security cards in waterproof containers. Also have cash (in small bills), checkbook, credit and ATM cards in hand.
- Know how to contact all family members at all times. Designate an emergency meeting place where the family can meet in case you can't go home.
- Prepare an emergency phone list of people and organizations that may need to be called. Include children's schools, doctors, child/senior care providers, and insurance agents.
- Follow the news and emergency broadcasts of local radio and television stations, including recommendations to evacuate specific areas.
- Make sure your vehicle is fully fueled so that if you need to evacuate you also don’t need to stop for gas.
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s).
- If you need to drive, try to avoid going through water if possible, don't use cruise control while it's raining and always be safe and pull over if visibility is severely limited by the rain.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.