How to stay safe during a hurricane

Hurricanes can be deadly and very dangerous. Hence, it is important to know the different ways in which you can stay safe during a hurricane.

People who are planning to stay at home can follow the below listed steps:

• Designate a ‘safe room’ in your house where you can take shelter till the hurricane has passed over. Such a room has to be in the center of the house, away from all the windows. You can even use a bathroom or a big closet as a safe room. Stock up the safe room with essentials like water, medicines, and snacks. Also keep a radio to listen to updates about the hurricane. Stay in the safe room till the hurricane has passed over. You may also keep your important documents in the safe room.

• Stock up on your supplies which will last for at least a week. Buy packed foods that are non-perishable, vegetables, and fruits. Do not forget to stock up on drinking water supply. Keep foods that can be eaten cold and do not require excessive cooking. Other essential items include pots, pans, cooking utensils, manual can opener, aluminum foil, garbage bags, a first aid kit, paper towels, disposable cleaning wipes, lots of batteries for radios and flashlights, and lots of cleaning supplies.

• Clean up all the debris in the yard and cut off dead branches. Put your vehicle in the garage and remove any tools from the yard. Protect the home with the use of plywood or hurricane shelters.

• Notify friends and family about your plans during the hurricane. Call them as soon as the storm has passed. Phone services may be disrupted for a few days and hence patience is needed.

• Prepare yourself for power outages. You can stock up on lots of ice and frozen water, which you can later use as water after it has melted. Use every water storage source available. Such water can be used for cleansing purposes.
People who are planning to evacuate can follow the below listed steps:

• It is important to evacuate early, especially if you are living in an evacuation zone. A majority of deaths and injuries happen in areas that have been ordered by the local administration to be evacuated, but people opt to stay back.

• Select a place to stay. You can choose to stay in a motel, or with relatives or friends. Local shelters are hot, crowded, with no privacy, and hence they should be the last choice. You also need to carry your own supplies. People with special needs have to contact the county administration to be taken to a special needs shelter. Pets have to be kept at designated pet shelters.

• Take all necessary documents, insurance policies and photos of your home when evacuating. Pack all essential items including maps, medications, and your cell phone.

• Carry as much cash as you can. ATMs and debit or credit card transactions do not work during power outages, and hence most transactions are done in cash.

• Tank up your vehicle before leaving. Most gas stations are bound to have long queues

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