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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Staying Safe during a Hurricane

By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff

Having a family disaster plan certainly helps in the event of any disaster. However, although you took the time to prepare for a hurricane, there are still some things you must do when the hurricane strikes in order to keep your family safe.

Stay or Go?

During a hurricane, it is safest to stay inside your home. Go to your safe room if you have one and if you don't have a safe room, find an area where you will be safest like a closet or an interior room. However, there are certain conditions when it is necessary for you to evacuate before a storm. Any time local authorities tell you that you need to evacuate, you should.

If you reside in an area where the dangers of hurricanes are greater, then you should evacuate. For instance, high winds are much stronger at places located at higher elevations so there is increased risk to you if you reside in a high-rise building. Therefore, it is best if you evacuate your residence.

Likewise, if you live in a coastal area or a floodplain where the risk of flood damage is much greater, then evacuation is also necessary. People who live in trailers or mobile homes should also seek temporary shelter at a safer place.

Staying at Home

If authorities did not direct you to evacuate or you were not able to do so for some reason, there are practical things to keep in mind as you ride out a hurricane at home. Stay away from glass doors, windows and skylights because they are prone to shatter from strong winds and flying debris. If the hurricane is raging outside, take refuge under a sturdy table.

Watch out for possible flooding and if there is such a threat, turn off main electricity supply at your home. If there is a power outage, switch off the air conditioner and other major appliances to minimize damage.

Avoid using electrical appliances and equipment, including the computer to avoid damage from lightning and electricity surges. This could also prevent lightning-related electric shocks. Although lightning is rare during hurricanes, three of the strongest ones to hit the country in recent years surprisingly had a lot of lightning.

Do not venture outside, not even just to check something for a short while because you can easily be injured by flying debris. Likewise, donít go outside if the storm's eye happens to pass over your area. As the eye passes, it will suddenly be very calm outside but only for a short time. You donít want to be outside when the wind picks up force again and they do very quickly so don't risk it.

When You Have to Evacuate

If you have to evacuate, it would be best if you can stay with a friend or a relative for the meantime, but you can stay at a local public shelter if you have nowhere else to go. When evacuating, follow the routes recommended by authorities and do not insist on taking shortcuts. Watch out for bridges and roads that have been washed out and do not force your way through flooded areas. Leave as early as you can to avoid being stranded by a severe storm.

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