Hurricanes wreak havoc in numerous ways—uprooting and blowing down buildings, sending debris airborne, causing flooding, destroying power sources, and triggering mud and landslides. To survive a major tropical storm and its manifold dangers, it’s necessary to have and follow a well-rounded, exhaustive action plan, one that accounts for every potentiality. Below is an 18-point list of hurricane must do’s, assembled by the experts at FEMA. If evacuation isn’t an option, the next best thing is to know where to be, and what to do, when the hurricane hits.
1. Listen to the radio or TV for information.
2. Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
3. Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
4. Turn off propane tanks
5. Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
6. Moor your boat if time permits.
7. Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
8. Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
9. If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
10. If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
11. If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
12. If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
13. Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
14. Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
15. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
16. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
17. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
18. Avoid elevators.
For more information and further FEMA tips, visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
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