Hurricane season: the essentials to survival - CBS46 News

Hurricane season: the essentials to survival

Posted: Updated:
(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Only weeks after Hurricane Harvey makes devastation in Houston, Hurricanes Irma and Jose are already on their way into the U.S.

For general knowledge, hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.

In preparation for one of the country's largest hurricanes to date, here are some basic preparedness and survival tips provided by www.ready.gov:

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
  • Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
    • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

It is going to be a necessity to properly prepare your home for the wrath of a hurricane.

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
  • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.  

If you are in a situation where access to evacuating your area is limited and a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving, the following tips are suggested:

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

After each hurricane has officially passed, be sure to take note of the following:

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.

For more safety tips and other information on Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 hurricane, visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

If you would like to help Houston, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands in any way, please visit the FEMA homepage at https://www.fema.gov/. 

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Connect with CBS46