8 Do’s & Don’ts While Preparing for Hurricane Season
Written By AD&V®
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | AD&V® is dedicated to advanced and energy-efficient sustainable architecture & interior design that enhances people’s experience of the world and improves their lives.
HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE AND WE MUST BE PREPARED.
It’s essential that we take the correct measures to prepare our homes and ourselves during hurricane season. Here are some do’s and don’ts to stay safe this hurricane season.
1. DO INFORM YOURSELF & STAY UP TO DATE
Look into what types of hurricanes are expected to hit this year and how they may or may not affect your area. According to NOAA, in 2022, there is a likelihood of 14 to 21 storms, 6 to 10 of which could become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (of category 3, 4, or 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher).
They predict this year will be above-average with a 65% likelihood of an active season. It’s important that you are aware of the potential dangers that hurricanes pose so that you can take the correct steps to mitigate the risk of your home being damaged.
2. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE A HURRICANE
In any and all circumstances, if you are in a high-risk area during hurricane season, you should never underestimate its power. A category 5 hurricane can reach up to 160 miles per hour, having the ability to destroy entire structures and buildings.
Always be prepared for the worst even if the worst is not likely to happen. Oftentimes, a hurricane may change its trajectory and spare an area. Other times, though, it comes straight through and causes more damage than expected.
Hurricane season is unpredictable, and we have little control over the circumstances, but what we can predict, and control is our preparation and response.
3. DO CREATE AN EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN WITH YOUR HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
According to FEMA’s 2019 National Household Survey, 80% of respondents said they had gathered enough supplies to last three or more days, but just 48% said they had organized an emergency action plan. It’s important to create a plan in case of an emergency during a hurricane to ensure your safety, that of your property, and your loved ones.
This plan should be reviewed and talked about at the beginning of hurricane season with your household members. It should help everyone stay healthy, informed, calm, and connected during an emergency. Some things you should consider including in your emergency plan are:
1. Collecting important phone numbers such as that of your physician, pediatrician, pharmacist, counselor, vet, and a disaster distress helpline.
2. Learning about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters. When you do, have a conversation with your family about where you will shelter and how you will evacuate in the case of an emergency.
3. Gathering important papers such as insurance policies, passports, licenses, care plans, etc.
4. Informing local authorities if a disabled person lives in your home so you can receive the proper assistance if an emergency occurs.
4. DON’T RELY TOO MUCH ON TECHNOLOGY
During and after a hurricane, there will most likely be no power, cable, or cellphone service. To stay up to date on the news and the well-being/whereabouts of your loved ones, look for other communication alternatives. Technologies such as your phone, computer, and your television are not very reliable forms of staying up to date during a hurricane.
There are a variety of things you can do beforehand to make sure you are informed and communicating with those you love without relying on the use of technology. An AM/FM emergency radio is the most reliable method for gaining information during a disaster where power is interrupted.
To communicate with your loved ones, you can buy a landline phone for your house, if you don’t already have one, which works without cell service or power. There are also apps on your phone that you can install such as Briar, where you are able to text without Wi-Fi or data signal. Talk to your friends and family to make sure you have a plan and are on the same page in terms of communication.
5. DO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE PROPER SUPPLIES
One of the most important things to ensure your safety is making sure you have the proper supplies. You should have enough food to last seven days, stored water for drinking and cleaning, and if you take medication, have enough to last you two weeks. Other essential items include blankets, money, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, radios, and any pet care items.
6. DON’T TAPE YOUR WINDOWS DURING A HURRICANE
Many people tape up their windows before a hurricane to prevent them from shattering. The idea that taping up your windows will reduce the risk of your windows shattering is a myth. In fact, putting tape on your windows may be more dangerous. This is because it can cause the glass to shatter into bigger shards when impacted by storm debris.
7. DO GET YOUR HOME READY
Take steps to secure your home before a hurricane. You can install hurricane shutters, floodproof your home, and/or brace doors and windows to keep it as comfortable and safe as possible before, during, and after a hurricane. Below is a list of steps you should take to make sure your home is ready for hurricane season:
1. Review your insurance policy—make sure your insurance policy will cover the full cost of rebuilding your home and that it covers damages caused by floods after a hurricane.
2. Seal your roof— check that all shingles or tiles are secured and if you haven’t done so yet, seal your roof deck to confirm that water is sealed out and cannot enter your home through any crack or crevice.
3. Seal windows and doors—sideways-blowing rain may be able to enter the home if your windows and doors are not properly sealed (hot climate can especially damage door seals).
4. Inspect your landscaping—look for signs that trees may fall during a storm and trim bushes to keep them under control.
5. Secure outdoor items and clear lawn—anything not firmly attached to the ground is at risk of becoming projectile during a hurricane.
8. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
Waiting until the last minute to get ready for a hurricane is not a good idea. From preparing your home to making up a plan, gathering the essential supplies, collecting important documents, and locating shelters, there is simply too much to do in just a few days. Preparing your home for a hurricane should take place at least weeks before.
With time, you can make sure you have everything you need to stay safe. All of the preparation will be worth it when you have everything you need before, during, and after a hurricane.