Steps to Take During a Hurricane

Published: 10th December 2009
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Most natural disasters are weather-related like hurricanes, which can produce torrential rains and powerful winds that may result to severe flood damage affecting both properties and lives. Preparing for a hurricane is just the first part of dealing with this natural hazard. When it finally strikes, do you know what to do as the storm rages outside?

Here are some important things to do during a hurricane:

• Most important: Stay indoors.

• Tune in to local radio news.

• Be on standby to move out. Have your emergency supplies at hand so you are ready to go when advised by authorities to move out of your home to a safer place.

• Make sure all windows and doors are closed and secured.

• Do not stay near windows or glass doors to prevent injuries should the glass break from strong winds or flying debris.

• Go to your home's safe room or take shelter in the basement, under a staircase, inside a closet or a small enclosed interior room.

• Use the phone only when absolutely necessary to keep the network open for official and emergency use.

• Never go down to the beach to go storm-watching. Hurricanes have strong winds that produce huge waves which become very strong when they hit the shore and could easily sweep people away.

When advised to evacuate:

• Do not delay. When you disregard evacuation warnings, you could be risking the lives of your family and jeopardizing the safety of rescuers who would come to your aid should you get stranded.

• Bring your family disaster kit with you.

• Continue to listen to the radio and keeping updated with directions from local emergency officials.

• Shut off utility supply lines - water, electricity and gas - before leaving your home. However, never touch your electrical panel box if floodwater has already entered the room or if water damage seems to have affected the fuse box.

• Don't forget to close all windows and doors and lock your house.

• Inform a relative or a close friend that you are evacuating and where. If you are leaving ahead of other household members, leave a note of where you intend to go.

• Follow the evacuation routes identified by authorities. Don't take any other routes because you might end up in a flooded, blocked or dangerous area.

Hurricane Warning

Preparing before a hurricane arrives is essential to how you will respond during a storm and how rapidly you can recover afterwards. Authorities issue weather warnings to alert citizens about the likelihood of disasters. When a hurricane warning is issued, it means the storm will bring winds of speed at least 74 miles per hour and residents of the affected area should expect it within 24 hours.

You should monitor the news for updates and official announcements. Authorities usually give instructions to evacuate if necessary shortly after issuing a hurricane warning. Make sure you have all necessary supplies in your disaster kit. When a hurricane warning is given, you should be in the final steps of putting in place protective measures.

Leo Nov is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS.com, a leading service provider for fire damage cleanups. To learn more about water removal and restoration services, visit RestorationSOS.com

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