How to stay safe during a hurricane

Hurricane season in the Atlantic has already gotten underway with gusto! The first storm (Isaias) made landfall on the East Coast on August 3.  Even though it’s only August, this hurricane season has already been more active than most, and this is the earliest ever that an “I” storm (Isaias) has been named in the Atlantic (the “I” storm is always the ninth named storm of the season).[i]

Moreover, hurricane season doesn’t formally end until November 30. The peak of the season for the Mid-Atlantic runs from August to October, so it’s a great time to review tips on how to keep you and your family safe this hurricane season.

hurricane crashes trailer home atop car

When a storm is threatening, it is a good idea to have on hand:[ii]

  1. Flashlights with extra batteries
  2. A three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  3. Food for three days that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or cooked
  4. First aid supplies and medications
  5. Cash
  6. A vehicle with a full gas tank
  7. A NOAA weather radio or a way to get weather warnings (particularly regarding tornadoes, which frequently accompany hurricanes)

To prepare your property for a storm:[iii]

  1. Secure patio furniture
  2. Clean out your home’s gutters and nearby storm drains
  3. Cut down weak branches or trees that overhang buildings
  4. If you live in a mobile home, consider evacuating to a shelter
  5. Charge up your cell phone and external charging devices
  6. Know the location of the local shelter in case you need to go there quickly

During/After the storm:

  1. Stay away from exterior windows during the storm
  2. Do not venture outside during the storm unless it’s an emergency
  3. Never drive on flooded streets (turn around, don’t drown)
  4. Avoid contact with flood waters (they may be contaminated)
  5. Stay away from downed power poles and power lines

Finally, consider purchasing a generator (but never run one inside), and always be prepared to evacuate if directed by local authorities. Follow these simple tips and you’ll put yourself and your family in the best position to come through this active hurricane season unscathed.