By Jarrod Heil
5 Hurricane Safety Tips to Stay Safe During the Storm
What you do during a hurricane has a tremendous impact on how you and your home safely make it through the lashing winds and torrential rains of each cylindrical rotation a tropical storm system brings.
While we all hope for hurricanes to take a wayward spin back into the sea and wreak their havoc far from the presence of humans, the fact of the matter is that hurricanes are bound to make landfall sooner or later.
How you prepare before, during and after a hurricane can be the difference between life and death and your home making it through the storm scot-free. If you take the following five hurricane safety tips to heart, you’ll have a better chance at seeing both of those positive outcomes come true.
5 Hurricane Safety Tips for What to Do During a Hurricane
1. Stay Inside & Away From Windows
If there’s a mandatory evacuation order for your area, we highly suggest you evacuate as soon as possible. The best place to be during a hurricane is far away from its path of potential destruction. They issue those orders for good reason, and getting far away from the hurricane is the easiest way to stay safe during it.
What to do during a hurricane depends on the scenario of whether you’re going to evacuate or not. If you decide to stay and forgo evacuating, you need to stay inside at all times and away from any windows and doors. Hurricanes are extremely powerful storms, which can thrust entire cars through the air without a moment’s notice.
Hurricanes can easily throw a two-by-four through a window or door. Even if you have impact-resistant windows and doors, it’s still a good idea to remain a safe distance away while the hurricane is passing through.
The second-best place to be during a hurricane is an interior room, such as a closet or bathroom, on the first floor of your home. Even if the storm seems to have calmed down and dissipated outside, stay inside because it may be the calm eye of the storm.
2. Stay in Tune with Local and National Alerts
If you’re riding out the hurricane at home, there’s a good chance you’ll lose all power supply to your home. This knocks out TVs, internet, cell service, wireless capability and pretty much all the high-tech communication methods you have with the outside world.
That’s where a battery-powered portable radio comes in handy. Having a portable radio that runs on battery power ensures you always have an internal connection with the outside world, so you can stay up to date about the storm system, path and when the hurricane has safely passed.
All you need to do is tune into the National Weather Service, which is a frequency that broadcasts all storm forecasts, warnings and watches 24 hours a day. It’s also important to stock up on extra batteries before the storm, so you can stay tuned in after the storm.
3. Be Ready to Turn Off Main Energy Sources
You may be surprised to know that many people don’t know how to turn off the main power, water or gas sources to their home. Knowing where the master valve is for each of the three utilities may be the difference between staying safe and facing potentially dangerous conditions.
If a hurricane knocks out the power to your home, it’s important to turn off the main power source to your home. If you leave on the power source, and the power comes back on, there’s a chance it could send an unnecessary amount of electricity to your appliances, air conditioning or anything else with a power source, and fry them beyond repair. This could also cause a house fire, so you want to be extremely careful.
Although the water won’t work if the power goes out, the main water supply still needs to be turned off to prevent overflowing and potential flooding from your sinks, toilets or showers.
Turning off your home’s main gas supply is extremely crucial in the event a hurricane cuts off power to your home. If you have a gas grill, gas fireplace or any other gas sources in your home, leaving it on while the power is out can have grave consequences.
While it’s rare, this could overflow the gas supply to your home and cause your home to catch fire or blow up. Turning off the main gas supply is an easy way to be safe rather than sorry.
4. Use Hurricane Equipment Carefully
If a hurricane causes the power to go out, you may consider using a generator to temporarily utilize everyday appliances until the power is restored. If you are operating a generator, it’s imperative to do so the right way.
First thing’s first, you should always read the generator’s owner’s manual before turning it on. You must also set it up away from doors and windows because generators release toxic carbon monoxide fumes that can become fatal if they make way into your home.
It’s also smart to keep a carbon monoxide detector inside the door or window that’s closest to the generator. It will keep you safe by informing you if any toxic fumes are making their way inside your home.
If you’ve opted to ride the hurricane out by candlelight, be sure to do so carefully. It might sound like obvious advice, but you must always keep candles away from anything even remotely flammable and make sure to blow them out when going to sleep.
5. Beware of Water Coming into Your Home
If any water is coming into your home from the outside, whether it’s through a broken window or another source, turn off your home’s main power source immediately. The water could surge the power and turn into an electrical fire.
After turning off your home’s main power source, try to round up some towels and any other items that could help prevent the water from continuing to pour into your home. This will help prevent further damage from occurring.