Hurricane Survival 101-How to Stay Safe and be Prepared

Hurricanes.  For those of you living on islands or along the coast, this is the biggest natural disaster you and your loved ones will face; and you know, this specific natural disaster can be very deadly.  Especially if for those who aren’t prepared or who choose to not follow all hurricane survival safety guidelines and precautions.   Our country is currently right in the middle of hurricane season; with two big hurricanes currently affecting the East coast and the islands of Hawaii.  Sadly, these most likely won’t be the last hurricanes to hit our country this year.  So, to help you all stay safe and prepared for hurricane season, we have the best tips and guidelines you should follow when it comes to hurricane survival.

Before we go any further though, let’s review some basic things you should remember about hurricanes…

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When is Hurricane season?

Hurricane season is from June 1st-November 30th

Hurricanes are broken down into 5 categories

  • Category 1 – Considered dangerous with winds of 74-95 MPH and estimated damages of snapped tree branches.
  • Category 2 – Considered extremely dangerous with winds of 96-110 MPH and major roof and siding damage to homes.
  • Category 3 – Considered extremely dangerous to devastating with winds of 111-129 MPH and estimated damages of electricity and water being unavailable for days.
  • Category 4 – Considered devastating to catastrophic with winds of 131-156 MPH and estimated damages of roofs and exterior walls torn from homes.
  • Category 5 – Considered catastrophic with winds greater than 156 MPH and estimated damages of homes and buildings being completely destroyed.

Now, on to the good stuff!

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Hurricane Survival 101-How to Stay Safe and be Prepared


1) What to do BEFORE a hurricane

Before a hurricane hits, you should do the following things…

  • Install storm shutters or boards over all exposed glass surfaces like windows and doors.
  • Position sandbags around the base of doors and low windows to prevent water from flooding in.  If you know flooding is going to be unavoidable, make sure to check out these 11 Essential Flood Items.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and drain pipes and make sure they are clean of debris to prevent damage and can safely move water away from your home.
  • Go over and practice your personal evacuation plan with loved ones.
  • Make sure your safety go kits are up to date and filled with things like water, food, medication, and important documents.
  • Ensure that your car has a full tank of a gas.
  • Make sure you are stocked up on batteries and generators.
  • Purchase enough bottled water to last your family several days.  REMEMBER each family member needs at least 1/2 gallon of water a day.  For other great ways to store and conserve water, go HERE and HERE.
  • If you should experience a category 3 hurricane or higher, you will most likely loose electricity.  Which means you will want to have a few large coolers on hand to store food and important medication in to keep them from going to waste.
  • Speaking of medications…you will want to make sure you have plenty on hand.  Especially because it may be a few weeks after the storm until your local pharmacies are able to stock back up.
  • Purchase a weather radio.  No matter where you live, a weather radio is a great device to have on hand so you can always stay informed about what is happening in your community during a natural disaster.
  • Store at least 3-5 days of non-perishable food in your home.  For a great list of such products, go HERE.  And don’t forget that you’ll also need to come up with a way to cook your food if the power goes out.  So make sure to check out our post about 5 Emergency Cooking Ideas.

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2) What to do DURING a hurricane

If you choose to ride out a hurricane you should make sure to remember the following things…

NOTE-If local authorities and government officials are recommending you evacuate, we strongly advise that you follow that precaution.

  • Avoid windows or glass doors and seek shelter in a small, centrally located room on the lowest floor of your home.
  • In case the power should go out, make sure to turn your fridge and freezer to the coldest setting, and then only open them when it is absolutely necessary to help preserve your foods in there for as long as possible.
  • If you end up needing/deciding to evacuate, follow recommended evacuation routes and go to a designated safe place.

3) What to do AFTER a hurricane

Recovering from the aftermath of a hurricane is usually the hardest part.  But if you follow these hurricane survival steps, the process will go much smoother.

  • Don’t light matches or candles.  Gas could be leaking nearby.  So instead, use lighting sources that run off batteries or a battery powered generator.
  • If you become trapped, do your best to draw attention to your location by taping on a pipe or wall so you can be found.
  • Should your home receive any damage, make sure to turn off your power and gas to avoid electrocution, fire, or explosion.
  • Remember to review your insurance policy or other insurance documents and make sure to take photos of any damage done to your home for any potential insurance claims that you may need to make.

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What are your hurricane survival strategies?  We would love to know what you do and what supplies you stock up on.  As we’ve mentioned before, hurricane season is unavoidable.  But, you can get through it easier if you take the time to follow these tips and review them regularly.