How To Survive A Hurricane

What you need to know, when you need to know it.

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Whirlwind sign. Tornado. Hurricane. Hurricane – storm. White background. Vector illustration

Ryann Taylor, Staff Reporter

The storm surge is creeping its way towards us with little or no remorse. With the incredible Ian making its way, there is only limited time to prepare for the incoming storm. Here are some helpful tips on how to stay safe in the eye of the storm.  

Firstly, what is a hurricane? It is a tropical cyclone that creates torrential rain, storm surges, and threatening flooding that can last weeks. Taking these steps can help you be in the best position possible.

Safety tips:  

  1. A Category 3-4 hurricane, which is what is heading our way, is anywhere from 111 miles per hour to 156 miles per hour winds. Take the precaution of putting up shutters on your windows, and if you have none in your reach, cardboard, wood, plastic sheets, or other protective sheets can help protect glass from coming inside. If you do not have access to any of those, staying in a secluded space with no windows and full walls on all 4 sides, like a closet or room, is sufficient on the ground floor of the house.
  2. If you have a shutter roof, be prepared for dislodging on the roof. You can also use hinges to help keep your roof steady and safely attached to your house if it is an old home with a wooden structure.  
  3. Trimming trees and shrubs around your home will be helpful for losing debris coming lose and flying around your property. 
  4. If you are in a flood zone, keep valuables on higher shelves to protect them from water damage. This includes important documents, photographs, electronics, etc.  
  5.  Make sure to refill any medication before, as well as preparing a safety kit for medical reasons.  
  6. Fill gas tanks for emergency need of gas, as well as keeping candles and oil lamps and gas stove tops handy for power outage.  
  7. Keep bathtubs, if you have one, filled with water in case no water is provided to your home at any time. Also keeping jugs of water handy.  
  8. Fully fuel any vehicles you own and keep them in the garage if you have the space. If not, keep them away from under trees.  
  9. Downloading the Red Cross Emergency app will keep you updated and help with getting emergency help or getting to shelter if needed. 
  10. Mark down where the closest shelter to you is in case of state of emergency 
  11. Fuel up extra wireless chargers for any electronics you will be using or need.  
  12. Stock up on dry food or food accessible with no power or needing to be chilled; canned food  
  13. Do not go outside under a circumstance in the high of the storm. If things start to come to a calm, do not be fooled for you could be in the eye of the storm, and check your local news channel or red cross app to see if it is safe to do so.  

 Other than necessities, here are a few extra pieces of advice to remain aware and safe. 

Helpful extra tips:  

  1. In case your power goes out and food is in your fridge and freezer, do not open either. If you want to see how much your freezer has thawed, you can freeze a cup of water about halfway, then put another fourth of water on top the moment your power goes out and set it inside the freezer and do not open it. When the power is back on, depending on how much ice is left is how much your food is thawed out. This is a good rule of thumb for whether food is safe to eat or needs to be disposed of.  
  2. If power is lost in your area, ATMs will not be available, so keeping cash on you will be helpful.  
  3. Do not walk-through flood waters outside if power has gone out in the area, the water could be electronically charged.  
  4. Do not drink tap water unless authorized to do so.  

Lastly, do not panic. In a state of emergency, the best thing you can do is stay calm and prepared and to not overthink your every move. If you are ever in a position that you do not feel safe in, you can always dial the non-emergency number to get the guidance you need.