How to Help Prepare for a Hurricane
Your level of preparation before a hurricane can determine how well you weather the storm and how quickly you recover from it. You should start preparing your home, inside and out, long before a storm is in the forecast. In the end, you can never be too prepared when it comes to protecting your loved ones and your property from extreme weather events such as hurricanes.
Know the Forecast
You may hear the terms “hurricane watch” and “hurricane warning” in your local forecast.
Understanding the difference between them is essential to helping you prepare for a hurricane. As soon as a hurricane watch or warning is forecast for your area, it is important, depending on the type of alert, to immediately begin or complete your preparations. A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours. You should begin to stock up on emergency supplies in the event a warning is issued. If you live in a coastal area, you also should be prepared to evacuate.
A warning is more serious. Hurricane-force winds (74 mph or higher) are expected to hit your area within 36 hours. You should seek shelter or evacuate, if notified to do so.
General Hurricane Preparation Tips
- Prepare a survival kit that includes items such as water and non-perishable food for everyone, including your pets; medications; a portable radio; flashlights; batteries; and battery chargers for your cell phones and other portable electronic devices, which can be powered by your car.
- Plan your evacuation route and leave as soon as an evacuation order is issued. Also, fuel up your car before you leave.
- Build a content inventory of the items in your home or at your business.
- Secure all outdoor objects or move them inside. Close your home’s storm shutters and board up windows and glass doors as appropriate.
- If possible, bring in gas or charcoal grills, but do not use them indoors. Also, do not store propane tanks inside the house or garage. Chain propane tanks in an upright position to a secure object away from your home.
- Secure your boat or move it to a safer place.
- Fill your emergency generator fuel tank, if you have one, and have spare fuel on hand. Store generator fuel in an approved container in a garage or shed, away from open flames, heat sources and appliances such as natural gas appliances.
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