What to do Before, During and After a Hurricane

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

The hurricane season is a difficult one for anyone and should be carefully planned for to protect yourself, your family and your essentials. There are some tips that need to be followed before, during and after a hurricane to ensure your safety:

Before the Hurricane

Have a plan on what to do in case of a hurricane.  If your house is far from a shelter centre but sound enough, designate a place where you and your family can seek shelter when a hurricane hits such as the basement.  Secure the house and protect the windows.  Buy a disaster supplies kit and ensure that the kit has medicine, water and non perishable food.  Fill clean containers with sufficient water to be stored and used for cleaning and flushing the toilet during the hurricane.

During the Hurricane

During a hurricane, stay in a safe area inside your house, such as in a closet on the lower ground, and keep away from glass doors and windows.  Avoid going outside even after the eye of the storm has passed, as the hurricane will come from the opposite direction.  This will protect you from flying debris.  Turn off electricity from the mains if your house starts to flood.  Also remember to switch off major appliances when power is lost to protect them from damage.  During a hurricane, stay away from electrical appliances and avoid using them.  Reduce the risk of being hit by lightening by not showering, bathing or using the phone.

After the Hurricane

More people die after a hurricane than during one because of going outside before it is safe to do so.  To minimize the risk of death, stay inside your house until specialized agencies tell you that it is safe to leave.  Only use the phone in case of an emergency and life threatening situation.  Under no circumstances should you touch or be in contact with low-hanging or fallen wires of any kind or touch water with wires near or in them.  Also avoid getting in contact with trees or objects that are in contact with power lines.  Hazards such as broken gas mains, overturned gas tanks and fallen power lines should be immediately reported to the police and utility companies.  Be vigilant about bridges, roads and porches that have been weakened and that could collapse without warning.  When power is restored, spoilt food from the fridge should be thrown away to avoid food poisoning.  Avoid using generators, propane camping stoves or charcoal grills indoors.

Using Public Shelters

Those who have nowhere else to go during a hurricane can stay at a public shelter.  News broadcasts will let you know of shelter openings.  Only opt for a shelter if you cannot stay with friends or relatives as shelters are not very comfortable places.  Take all the necessary documentation and necessities with you.  If you have special medical needs, go to special needs shelters only and take your caregiver with you if needed.

by Melissa Gonzales