How to Stay Safe During Hurricane Season

Eight tips to protect your family and home during hurricane season

Hurricane damageCredit: John Coletti/Getty images

You don’t have to live in Tornado Alley or on a coast to experience the devastation of a hurricane, tornado or other severe windstorm. With hurricane season officially in full effect, it is important to be prepared in case of a natural disaster.

How to Stay Safe During a Hurricane

1. Invest in hurricane windows: Windows are the most vulnerable part of your house, so invest in hurricane windows that will withstand windstorm damage, survive longer than ordinary ones and save you a bundle.

2. Establish an evacuation plan: Make sure you have an emergency evacuation plan in place to ensure the quickest route to safety.

3. Trim troublesome trees: Storms wreck havoc on trees – be sure to have a professional remove or trim large, high branches that are a threat to you, your property and neighbors.

4. Invest in an emergency generator: Hurricanes and other windstorms frequently cause power outages, but an emergency generator will enable you to run essential appliances and lights.

5. Prepare an emergency care kit: Make sure you assemble a survival kit so you have it ready when a natural disaster hits. Include:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries or a crank-up model
  • Portable radio with extra batteries or a crank-up model
  • First-aid kit. You can even build your own emergency kit pretty easily.
  • Necessary medical supplies including prescription drugs
  • At least one gallon of drinking water per person per day for at least three days
  • Three-day supply of ready-to-eat food
  • Manual can opener
  • A waterproof, fireproof container with valuable papers

6. Lock down: If you’re at home during a hurricane, lock doors and windows to reduce vibration, and close drapes and blinds to contain broken glass. Most importantly, stay away from windows.

7. Stabilize broken windows: If a window cracks during a not-too-fierce storm, put duct tape over the crack to prevent it from spreading.

8. Find the safest spot in your home: Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway, preferably on the lowest level. Lie under a heavy table or sturdy object.

9. Wait it out: Are hurricane winds suddenly dying off? Be patient-it is common for tornadoes to follow soon afterward. Another possibility is that the eye of the storm is passing overhead. Regardless, it is important to stay indoors in a low, windowless, structurally strong location until you are sure it’s safe to go outside.