|Picture by Kakela|
Hurricane season usually lasts from June 1st to November 30th (but they can come early or late so be always be prepared).
Have Your Supplies Ready
See the post on 72 hour kits here for how to build your bug out bag. One thing to remember in regards to preparing for hurricanes, make sure your bags are waterproof as it will most likely be raining heavily when you leave. Have large trash bags to wrap everything in and make sure you also keep your pets and yourselves as dry as possible.
Prepare Your House
Prepare to protect your windows ahead of time. Look into either hurricane shutters or have plywood boards pre cut and ready to clip on your windows. Also look into other things that can be done to protect not only your house but your neighbors houses as well. Remove dead or dying tree limbs, replace old roofs, etc. Check out Google for some good check lists on things to do to prepare for hurricane season.
Remember to also, just like tornadoes, bring in everything from outside that could blow away and cause damage like potted plants and patio furniture.
Know the Warning Signs
The most important thing here is to keep your head out of the sand and stay aware of what is going on in your area even if it is not hurricane season. Set your smartphone up to receive alerts from the government as well as the Weather Channel or your local news station and check the news regularly.
Don't let that storm sneak up on you. Unlike earthquakes and tornadoes, hurricanes give plenty of warning before they hit so take advantage of that time.
Have Your Evacuation Plan in Place
Know where you will go and how you will get there if you decide to leave. Remember that if you decide to evacuate or if there is an evacuation order, the vast majority of people in your area will be doing the same thing so be prepared. Have your supplies all in one place and leave as soon as you can (but not before you are done securing your house). Research local laws in your area and see if you can store gasoline. Most people trying to evacuate will be trying to stop for gas so if you can avoid that step it will save you a lot of time and headache of having to wait in long lines.
Have Your Bug In Plan in Place
If you do decide to stay put, especially if there has been an evacuation order, do not expect to be rescued if something goes wrong. The emergency personnel need to worry about the people who either could not evacuate or ran into problems trying to evacuate. If you make the concouse decision to stay, be prepared to fend for yourself during the storm and do not expect to be rescued.
If you think that you might decide to stay, start preparing to be without power for about two weeks. Consider a small generator and make sure you have enough supplies to sustain everyone in your house (including pets)
Random Things to Consider
Have plenty of bug spray and citronella candles in your house. Once the storm dies down, there may be 1 no power and 2 mosquitoes may go rampant as there will be a large amount of standing stagnant water.
Just because you have put boards or storm shutters on your doors and windows does not mean that they are 100% safe. During the storm, stay away from windows and try to stay in a room in the middle of the house with no windows. This is also referred to as a safe room. You should also keep all of your supplies there and make them waterproof just incase.
Take a look at this article here that goes a little more in depth into preparing for hurricanes. But more importantly, do your own research. Google it, contact your local emergency services for check lists, handouts and so forth that are applicable to your local area. Each area is different so make sure you know what to expect in your area. For example, I grew up in North Central Texas and while we didn't ever have any hurricanes we often got a lot of the left over rain which could cause flooding issues. We live in San Diego now and we don't get anything from hurricanes but we are waiting for orders to Virginia now so we will need to reassess when we get there. So just be aware of how your area is affected.
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Ta Ta for now!