How to Prepare for a Hurricane
October 8, 2020
Hurricanes are dangerous storms that cause flooding, storm surges, and high winds. Severe hurricanes can be life-threatening when they make landfall and immediately afterward. While you cannot stop a hurricane, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family.
Before a hurricane, make sure you stay informed and have a plan for evacuation. If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone and local officials tell you to evacuate, do so immediately.
Have an Evacuation Plan
As long as you have a plan in place, evacuation can be a smooth process.
Your hurricane evacuation plan should include:
- A method for receiving emergency alerts and warnings
- A meeting place and location to take shelter
- An evacuation route
- Ways to communicate with friends and family
- An emergency preparedness kit
- Considerations for COVID-19 and other health concerns
- Copies of your insurance policies and important documents
When a hurricane hits, you may not be in the same place as your loved ones. Knowing where to meet and take shelter – and how to communicate – will help you find one another and alleviate stress. If you have pets, school-aged children, older family members, or family members with special dietary or medical needs, you should also consider how you will address these needs in case of an emergency.
Ready.gov has worksheets and additional advice that can help you make the best hurricane plan possible. You can find even more resources, including opportunities to purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA radio, and information about the Safe and Well website and wallet cards (designed to help you locate and communicate with loved ones), at Redcross.org.
Protect Your Home
If you live in an area, that is prone to hurricanes, you may want to consider installing permanent storm shutters. You can also invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
Regularly clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts. During a storm, this could put unnecessary pressure on the awnings and contribute to flooding. Before a storm, store your lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools, and trashcans so they don’t blow away. Don’t store these items near stairs or exits.
Flood insurance is one of the best ways to protect your home during a hurricane. Remember, flood insurance is NOT included in your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. You can find more information via the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Moments Before a Hurricane
While a hurricane builds in the distance, weather experts and local officials keep a close eye on the storm and provide near-constant updates. Listen to a radio station near you or the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio, or tune into local TV stations for the latest information and updates.
Know that you may need to evacuate quickly and with very little notice. With your evacuation plan in place and your emergency kit nearby, this should not be a problem. You may want to make sure your car’s gas tank is full in case an evacuation notice is issued. While you’re still at home, fill plastic and reusable bottles with clean water for drinking and fill bathtubs and sinks with water for washing and flushing the toilet. You should also turn off propane tanks, unplug small appliances, and double-check that your patio furniture and bicycles are stored safely inside (away from stairs and exits).
If you still have time, move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. To prevent power surges, make sure all unnecessary devices are unplugged, and if you are instructed to do so, turn off your utilities until professionals are available to turn them back on.
Make sure you, your loved one, and any pets are inside and secure. If you have larger animals, such as horses or livestock, you may want to consider moving them to a safer place before receiving an evacuation order.
Assuming you are not evacuated, plan to stay inside during the entire storm and use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Avoid contact with floodwater and continue listening to your local information sources for updates. If you become trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Never climb into a closed attic.
A Note About Hurricane Delta
At Anderson Traylor Edwards, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Delta. Parts of Louisiana could see up to 11 feet of water from powerful storm surges and many residents have already been evacuated. CNN predicts the storm make landfall in southwestern Louisiana on Friday, October 9, 2020.
Experts urge those in the storm path to prepare or evacuate as soon as possible. We hope the resources we’ve shared have been helpful, and when the time to rebuild comes, our team is here for you at (985) 244-3070 and online.