Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes, tropical storms and sudden rain squalls can be extremely hazardous and damaging events. Combining torrential rainfall, heavy wind gusts and lightning is a recipe for disaster and no matter how much lead time you have to prepare you still can't guarantee safety from such a natural disaster. Because of the shifting winds and unpredictable gusts there is almost no way to pinpoint how a hurricane will act once it makes landfall and the only sure advice any rescue team can offer is that you stay out of sight and if possible underground.

Unlike earthquakes there is a much better warning system in place for hurricanes and the areas most likely to be struck by one. Today new technology and satellite systems enable forecasters to warn of hurricanes days in advance. However, unless you plan to evacuate the area altogether you will have to take precautionary steps to ensure that you and your family are well protected from the impending storm.

As with most major natural disasters when a hurricane hits be prepared for several days with out electricity, running water and heat. High wind gusts can wreak havoc with power lines and it is not unusual for some heavy hit areas to go weeks without electricity in the wake of a powerful hurricane. Be prepared for long outages by having basic supplies on hand including flashlights, spare batteries, portable heaters, clean drinking water and fully charged cell phones or two-way radios. Make sure all of your power supplies are charged and have dependable back-ups before a storm hits so you can at least count on basic communication, water and lighting.

Though hurricanes and other rain storms often take place in tropical climates during seasonably warm weather the immediate aftermath of a major storm can cause chilly weather to linger, especially at night. If your home has suffered roof damage or other structural damage and you can't make it to safe zone or shelter you may have to spend a night or two outside. It can get significantly cooler at night and it is advised to have warm blankets, durable tents and waterproof clothing in your emergency kit. Most of your possessions will be water-logged at this point and having enough dry clothing to provide change of clothes for a few days is essential to staying warm and clean amid the debris. Another great idea is to buy a polyethylene tarp shelter poly tarps to use as a temporary roof in case it should rain while you await help.

As with other natural disasters the worst part is often waiting for rescue teams to arrive and provide emergency relief. During this time minor wounds can become infected, food and water can become scarce and the panic that occurred during the storm can cause hyperventilating, fatigue and other conditions that can worsen an already difficult situation. Make sure your first aid kit is stocked with clean bandages, anti-bacteria ointments, gauze and other supplies that can be used to temporarily treat a number of wounds and conditions that are likely to follow a hurricane.
Know how to prepare your home and office for a tropical storm or earthquake and what first aid supplies you should have in any hurricane kit.