When SHTF, you better have a plan. Tropical hurricanes are quickly spinning storm systems that bring about high wind, rain, and havoc in its wake. Hurricane Katrina was the seventh deadliest hurricane in United States history, killing over 1,800 people, causing over $100 billion in damage, and breaching 53 Federally-built levees protecting metropolitan New Orleans. If you live on the coast or remotely near a coast, you better prepare for a tropical storm before hurricane season even begins. Here is what you can do to prepare.
Stocked and Loaded
An emergency supply kit is invaluable in preparing for a hurricane. The kit should be able to sustain each member of the group for at least three days. This kit should include:
- One gallon of water per person per day (for drinking and sanitation purposes)
- Three day supply of food for each person (non-perishable)
- First aid kit
- Can opener
- Flashlight with reserve batters on hand
- Portable radio for pertinent news and storm updates
- Local maps for navigation
- Prescription medications
- Cash, traveler’s checks, or emergency credit card
Do not store this supply kit in an area that may be inaccessible when a hurricane strikes. If the basement floods or the garage capsizes, the last thing you want is to put yourself in danger trying to retrieve the supply kit from these locations. Place the kit in plain sight and in an area that is easily accessible to any members of the family or group. It should take no longer than 2-3 minutes to gather the supply kit and evacuate the household.
Do not Hesitate, Evacuate
Tropical storms will rip apart and uproot your home. No, you are not safe there. Get as far away from the storm as possible and do it quickly. Look into FEMA’s evacuation guidelines for evacuation specifics and to assist in vacating your family from the premises. You must be aware of alternate routes exiting the area. Interstates and highways may be blocked by debris, so ensure you’ve got a side road as plan B. Do not wait until the last second to evacuate. By then, it may be too late. Listen to the radio for evacuation tips, they will alert you when bridges are no longer accessible or power lines are down.
Communicate with friends and family with your POA
Have a rough plan of action prepared for friends and family to know where you plan to go and how you will get there. The electrical grid is not something to rely upon; internet towers could be destroyed by the hurricane and cell phone service can go offline. Before this happens, send an email to friends and family detailing the current plan, where you and your family will go, and a number to contact (of the local shelter or otherwise) if anyone needs to contact you. If possible, once you reach the planned destination, contact each of the recipients again confirming your arrival.
Recovery from a hurricane can last weeks, even months. It is important to remember it is a gradual process. Keep the family upbeat and positive throughout this. Feeling anxiety, sadness, grief, and anger are normal. Talk about your feelings and help others (especially kids) cope with situation. The most important thing is that the family is safe and together. A house, neighborhood, and city can be rebuilt in time. A broken family is much harder to repair.
When SHTF, you better have a plan.