According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, hurricanes are “large, swirling storms that produce winds of 74 mph or higher.” Hurricane winds can damage buildings and trees while causing heavy rain and potential flooding. Hurricanes occur more frequently from June to November, so it’s important in these months to follow these hurricane tips in the event of a storm.
There are three parts of a hurricane. The eye, which is the center of the storm and has light winds and causes partly cloudy skies. The eye wall, which is a ring of thunderstorms that swirl around the eyes, has the strongest winds and the heaviest rain. Finally, the rain bands, stretch for hundreds of miles and often contain thunderstorms and tornadoes. Often times, these storms begin as tropical disturbances over warm ocean waters, and as rain clouds build, the disturbance grows to a tropical depression (38 mph), then a tropical storm (39 mph), and finally, a hurricane at 74 mph.
Prepare For a Hurricane
Before you are even given a hurricane warning, you should make evacuation plans. Find a safe place for shelter and determine a route to get there that keeps you out of harm's way. Determine how you’ll communicate with your family members in the event that you lose power. Anticipate phone lines being overloaded - it might be best to send text messages or direct messages over social media. Make sure that you charge your electronics and portable chargers so that you can maintain your battery.
Additionally, restock your emergency kit with all of the necessities. Plus, Make sure that you are stocked up on emergency supplies like food, water, protective clothing, medications, flashlights and extra batteries, and important documents. According to the Department of Homeland Security, it’s important that you store at least three days worth of food. Make sure that your car is in good working condition and your gas tank is full. A change of clothes and emergency supplies should be kept in your trunk. Loose items and anchor items like patio furniture, garbage cans, and propane tanks should be brought inside.
Finally, monitor the radio or television every thirty minutes or so in order to keep up with the latest weather updates. Stay plugged in so that you can keep track of all emergency instructions, just in case authorities offers special instructions.
During a Hurricane
If you are told to evacuate, leave as soon as possible and listen to emergency information and instructions. If not, go to a FEMA safe room, a storm shelter, or a small windowless room on the lowest floor not subject to flooding. In the event that flooding begins in the building, climb to the highest floor to avoid waters but do not climb into a closed attic. You could potentially be trapped by flood-waters.
In the event that you must go outside, do not walk, swim, or drive through flooded areas. Six to twelve inches of water could take you down completely or flood your car. Stay on the safe side. While a lull in the storm could signify the end, it’s more likely that the eye of the storm is overhead. Wait for the authorities or weather advisory to announce that the storm has passed completely.
After a Hurricane
Stay away from standing water, which might be electrically charged due to downed power lines or contain dangerous debris. Additionally, don’t touch electrical equipment that may be wet. If it’s safe, even consider turning off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent additional electric shock. Report any downed power lines to your local police department. Follow post-storm food and water safety precautions and take photographs of any damage that occurred to your home.
Hurricanes can happen at any point, along any coast, or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. With torrential rain, harsh winds, and storm surges, hurricanes are potentially life-threatening and can leave extensive damage. If there is a call to evacuate, get out as early as possible to protect yourself and your family. In the event that a hurricane strikes, it’s important to make sure that you are covered by flood insurance by I & E Insurance Agency, an award-winning New Jersey Insurance Agency.