How to Survive a Hurricane

Keep yourself–and your family and home–safe during the toughest of storms.

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News of Hurricane Matthew's progress has many of us—even those not in the line of the hurricane's path—on edge. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe.

Pay Attention to Local News

Hurricane Sandy caused a 40ft pine to crash down onto our backyard. We were waiting til storm season was over to have it safely removed, and come Spring, found one solitary red Tulip growing in the shadow of this fallen giant. A true sign that nature can be both brutal and beautiful.

Hurricane Sandy caused a 40ft pine to crash down onto our backyard. We were waiting til storm season was over to have it safely removed, and come Spring, found one solitary red Tulip growing in the shadow of this fallen giant. A true sign that nature can be both brutal and beautiful.

Hurricane Sandy caused a 40ft pine to crash down onto our backyard. We were waiting til storm season was over to have it safely removed, and come Spring, found one solitary red Tulip growing in the shadow of this fallen giant. A true sign that nature can be both brutal and beautiful.

Your regional news sources and local officials will be best suited to advise on the latest storm info, and how it is expected to effect you. Follow their advice and make every effort to meet their recommendations. Do your part to keep your family and neighborhood safe. 

If you’ve lose electricity and are without a generator, use a battery-powered radio to pick up local stations.

Have an Evacuation Route and Communication Plan

And have backup routes too, if your Plan A is gridlocked or flooded. Get to high ground. If you’re advised to evacuate, do it. 

Getting out is most important, but have a communication plan for your family too; this will help if you’re leaving home in two vehicles and potentially get separated, or need others to know where to find you.

If you decide to stay at home despite evacuation warnings, the biggest risk is that fire and police may not come to help you in case of emergency. Don't take that chance.

Batten Down the Hatches

If you are able to stay at home but anticipate rough weather, work with your neighbors in the community to efficiently take action for the benefit of all. Consider the following steps to stay safe:

  • Airborne lawn furniture can damage and destroy during fierce winds, so move it indoors or secure it in position with heavy weights, such as cinder blocks.
  • Board up windows with 5/8” plywood to prevent wind and anything that is airborne outdoors from damaging glass panes, and close blinds and curtains indoors. Broken glass will make for rough outdoor cleanup after the storm, and poses great risk for anyone seeking safety indoors during the storm.
  • FEMA recommends making efforts to reduce roof damage by adding straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Move vehicles under cover.
  • Boat? Be sure it’s secured, whether it is at the dock or stationed on your property.
  • Make sure exterior doors are locked and secured – consider all shed doors, garage doors and storm doors.

Keeping Safe During the Storm

  • Have an emergency preparedness kit stocked and accessible for your family. If you anticipate an evacuation, keep an extra suitcase of emergency materials stored in your vehicle.
  • Stay away from windows if you’re at home.
  • Avoid using landline phones during a lightning storm (cell phones are safe, if you have reception). 
  • Unplug appliances, computers, and televisions to prevent them from being damaged during an electrical surge.
  • Keep a generator and submersible water pump ready to go, in case of a flood or outage. Know how to use both of them!
  • Prevent fire: No candles
  • Need light? Lots of flashlights, lots of batteries.
  • Also be sure that the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are new.

Keeping Safe During an Evacuation

  • Bring your disaster preparedness kit in your vehicle with you. Be sure that it has non-perishable snacks, water, clothing, a stocked first aid kit and identification for every member in your family.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas, and stay out of standing water.
  • Have extra chargers for cell phones, and extra batteries. 
  • Have a full tank of gasoline in your vehicle. Avoid carrying an extra gasoline can, but don’t allow your gas tank to get low.
  • Avoid returning home until the storm has passed and the area has been deemed safe for travel.
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