It’s hurricane season again, and that means it’s time to prepare for the possibility of a killer storm. Across the country, hurricanes bring devastation each year, impacting millions of lives and costing billions of dollars in damage.
These storms and torrential rains can be incredibly destructive, bringing power outages that last weeks, devastating floods, a breakdown in public services, and more. If you’re not prepared, they can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
This article will discuss what you need to do to prepare for a hurricane, from the early pre-hurricane stages to evacuation procedures.
Brush up on hurricane preparedness now so that you’re never left vulnerable if and when disaster strikes.
Make a Hurricane Plan
First, you need to have a plan.
If a hurricane is coming your way, you need to know what you’re going to do and where you’re going to go. If possible, you should have a backup place to stay outside of the hurricane’s path and a plan for getting there.
If you find yourself in a situation where there’s not enough time or resources to get out of the hurricane’s path, you should also have a plan for how you will shelter in place as safely as possible.
Don’t forget to figure out what you will do with your pets. Double-check that they have ID tags and that you have a current photo of them in case they get lost during the storm.
Other things to include in your hurricane plan:
- Emergency phone numbers
- Nearest shelters and routes
- A list of pet-friendly hotels or contact information for an out-of-town loved one where they can stay during an evacuation.
Pack a Hurricane Kit
Once you have a plan, you need to start packing a hurricane kit.
Your hurricane kit should include everything you need to survive for at least three days, and it should be easy to grab and go if you need to evacuate in a hurry.
Start with the basics like food, water, and first-aid supplies. Then add in other items like clothes, flashlights, batteries, and a weather radio.
If you have any special needs or requirements, such as prescription medications, be sure to include sufficient amounts of those items in your kit.
Some must-haves for your hurricane emergency kit include:
- Food that has a long storage life, requires minimal use of utilities (like water and power), is nutritious, and is low in sodium (to reduce the need for water)
- Water purifier in case flooding affects utilities
- Any regular medications
- Passports, wills, personal identification documents, and medical documents
- Fire extinguisher
Additionally, make sure you have batteries and chargers for all necessary devices (phones, medical equipment, etc.)
Find Backup Power Options
During a hurricane, it’s likely that you will lose power. To ensure that you can still meet your basic needs, you should have backup power options in place.
A gas generator is an option, but a solar generator can be an even better investment since it relies solely on the sun’s energy to provide you with the power you need for essentials like medical devices, cooking, and cleaning.
EcoFlow’s DELTA series can provide backup power to your home in the case of an emergency, such as a hurricane, with outputs between 1400-7200W. It can be a life-saver to have in your hurricane kit when disaster strikes.
Prepare Your Home and Car
Secure any loose items outside of your home. Check the property for lawn furniture, grills, and other outdoor items that high winds could pick up and blow around.
It’s also a good idea to fortify your windows. You can install shutters, impact-resistant film, or even plywood boards to help protect them from flying debris.
And finally, make sure your gutters are clean and clear. Clean gutters help prevent water damage to your home during a storm by allowing water to flow down from your roof without obstruction.
If you have a car, make sure it’s in good working condition and has a full tank of gas. You may need to evacuate quickly, so it’s essential to have a dependable car to get you where you need to go.
Don’t have a car? Make a plan with family or friends to hitch a ride out or be prepared to weather the storm.
Be Ready to Stay or Go
Once you’ve done all of the above, you should be ready to either stay or go at a moment’s notice. If a hurricane is heading your way, pay close attention to the news and weather reports.
If officials say it’s time to evacuate, do so immediately. If there’s enough time before the storm hits, unplug your appliances and turn off utilities. Take the roads that emergency authorities recommend, even despite traffic. Emergency instructions often consider things like flooding, accidents, and damage you won’t be able to get past.
Your evacuation plan should include the mode of transportation and the destination where everyone will meet. If you have to travel separately, it’s best to designate a primary meeting place and a secondary meeting place in case the first fall through,
If you decide to stay and ride out the storm, make sure you’re in a safe place. The safest place to shelter is in a room on the lower level of your home, away from windows, with plenty of supplies to last you for at least three days.
Don’t go outside, even if it looks calm. The eye of a hurricane can be deceiving.
You should also consider that it may get to the point where you need to evacuate. If your home sustains damage or you are out of power and utilities for several days, you may need to relocate to an emergency shelter or a loved one’s home.
And finally, don’t forget to help your neighbours, especially older adults or those with special needs. Make sure they have a plan and are ready to evacuate or ride it out.
Preparing for a hurricane doesn’t have to be daunting. By following the steps above, you can be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way this hurricane season.
Early preparation is critical because towns often scramble to protect themselves just before the storm hits. Don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t find the supplies or documents you need because you procrastinated.
Remember to stay calm, informed, and, most importantly, safe. At EcoFlow, our portable generators help you keep the power on. See our shop for reliable solar generators that will help you ride out the storm — your next generator could be the lifesaving device you need.