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How to Stay Safe and What to Do During a Hurricane

By Jarrod Heil

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A million things will probably be going through your mind during a hurricane, but you must remain calm and reflect on everything you’ve learned in order to keep you safe.

First thing’s first, the safest to stay safe to during a hurricane is to evacuate the area to an area outside the hurricane zone. Whatever it may be, we know that evacuating is not always in the cards for everyone.

The hurricane may have changed its course and there’s no time left to evacuate, you may have thought you had more time or some other life event may have caused you to stay put and ride the storm out.

Now it’s time to hunker down and recall all the hurricane safety tips you possibly can in order to remain safe through the storm. Here are four quick tips that aim to keep you and your family safe.

1. Remain Inside Until the Hurricane Has Passed

Hurricanes are scary to live through, especially when they make landfall at nighttime. No matter how safe you think it is to go outside just before, during or after the hurricane is passing through, don’t do it. It’s probably not safe out there.

Strong hurricane winds can destroy homes, scatter debris and even pick up cars and boats and sling them through the air. You don’t want to be outside when debris is flying through the air because it could leave you seriously injured.

The best place to be during a hurricane is an interior room, like a bathroom or closet, on the lower level of your home and wait for the hurricane to pass. If there’s a period of calm weather that directly follows whipping winds, it could be the eye of the storm passing over you. The storm still has another side that will pass by after this.

But how do you know if the eye of the hurricane is leading to calm weather or if the entire storm has passed by? That’s where the next tip comes in handy.

2. Use a Portable, Battery-Powered Radio

Using a portable, battery-powered radio is the best way to get updates on the storm, outside world and everything between. When hurricanes hit, the first thing that goes is the power source, so you’ll likely be stuck in your home with no power for an extended period of time.

Having a battery-powered radio allows you to pick up the national weather service to get storm updates and other radio stations to bide the time. This information can help you figure out how long the storm will last and when it’s safe to go outside.

They’re fairly cheap to buy and usually require AA or AAA batteries. Remember to keep some extra batteries around in case you need them.

3. Watch for Water Entering Your Home

Flood waters can become a serious problem during hurricanes, especially if your home is near a body of water. With storm surges up to 20 feet, hurricanes can cause flooding within hours of landfall.

If you see any water entering your home, try to block with sandbags or towels. Then turn off the electricity to your house. This helps prevent power the water from surging the power and can even prevent electrical fires from happening.

If water is entering your home and you’ve turned off the electricity, it’s also a good idea to stay away from any electronics and stay completely out of the water. Electrical wires from outside or lightning strikes can make standing water a very dangerous thing.

4. Follow All Instructions for Using Generator

The number one to know about generators is that you must use them outside and a safe distance away from doors, windows or other openings into your home. Fumes from generators can become toxic in enclosed spaces, including inside your home.

If you bought your generator from a store (maybe not used from a second-hand store), it should’ve come with a set of usage instructions and hurricane safety precautions.

Although generators can be waterproof, you should also try to keep your generator out of rainwater and standing water. It’s also smart to keep a carbon monoxide detector directly inside the nearest opening from the generator. This device will let you know if high levels of carbon monoxide are entering your home.

Follow these four simple tips to stay safe during a hurricane. But, most of all, use your natural instinct. If something feels wrong, you may want to err on the side of caution.

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