Tropical storms are frightening, especially for Floridians, considering how close the big bad ocean is to the panhandle state. However daunting hurricane season may appear, knowledge and preparation is the key to success and no stress. Here’s a definitive guide to surviving hurricane season.
Become familiar with these two terms:
- Hurricane Watch, which signifies the possibility of hurricane conditions 48 hours prior to the expected arrival, and
- Hurricane Warning, which advises the expectation of hurricane conditions, 36 hours prior.
Besides learning those terms, there are some other basic precautions to be taken. Pay attention to hurricane forecasts and form a secure shelter out of your home, depending on the circumstances. Be prepared for power outages by charging your devices and using power only when necessary. Filling cars with gasoline lessens the possibility of being unable to leave a dangerous location.
Here are five minimum essentials —besides non-perishable food and water— you’ll need in case of a hurricane:
- First-aid kit: The American Red Cross organization sells general first aid kits for emergencies and even family deluxe kits. Special medication such as inhalers, insulin, and prescribed drugs should be purchased separately if necessary.
- Flashlights: These will come in handy in case the power cuts off, which often occurs during a hurricane. Always pack extra batteries for these and other battery-powered devices.
- Sanitation items: Personal hygiene is necessary for a healthy home and a reduced risk of sickness. Store extra water to be used for bathing, and stock up on water purification tablets and soap for the occasion.
- Radio: Keeping a battery-powered radio can offer information on the status of a hurricane and the safety of locations.
- Sturdy container: Significant documents such as birth certificates, leases, medical and insurance information, as well as money should be stored in a waterproof, durable container safe from harm.
While a hurricane most definitely ruins beach time during the summer, your time locked indoors doesn’t have to go to waste. If electricity is available, indulge in a new season of a TV show you’ve never found the right time for, or finish one that you already enjoy. Remember that books will always be there, ready for your eyes and admiration, craving nothing more than to be read. Board games were made specifically for boring situations (note that it even sounds like “bored”). This is also the perfect opportunity to get in touch with your artsy side, your writer’s edge, filmmaker’s heart, or whatever the case may be – try your hand at something new.
If all else fails, when in doubt, sleep it out — you could use some rest amidst the summer craze.
The aftermath of a hurricane can be a burden if a mess was made, however, bring out some speakers and let the music motivate you. After contacting your loved ones, feel free to throw a hurricane survival party in honor of the wet storms you battled and —hopefully— the sunny weather ahead.
By Cesar Zafra