Hurricane season has to be the roughest period of the year for all of us, especially in hurricane-prone areas, with gusty winds, torrential rains, and engorged waterways unceasingly lurking as deadly provocations. When severe storms are detected in the vicinity, a whimsical, reckless disposition can be life-threatening, if not fatal. 

What should you do if you get stuck in a hurricane
What should you do if you get stuck in a hurricane ? | Image Credit – Shashank Sahay

A hurricane is a form of a tropical cyclone that can induce massive flooding, heavy winds, high tides, and flash floods over open water for two weeks or more and can move across the entire route of the eastern coast, including its shorelines and nearby islands. 

As per the National Hurricane Center, a hurricane is characterized solely by its wind velocity, which must be 74 mph or greater. But, if anything lower, then the cyclone is classified as a tropical storm.

According to the latest statistics, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 seemed to be the tip of the iceberg in 30 years of massive, catastrophic, and fatal storms in the United States solely. In reality, up to 12 storms can cause landfall in the United States annually, with two to three hurricanes reaching category 3 to 5. 

This scenario indicates that we may become stranded in hurricanes in the most unpredictable ways and at random times!

A hurricane is a terrifying catastrophic event that, sadly, could happen to any of us. Surviving a hurricane as it approaches an area is a struggle that one can overcome with the proper understanding and knowledge. Below you will discover a few do and don’ts if you ever find yourself stuck in a hurricane.

Get yourself to a safe shelter.

Find a safe shelter
Find a safe shelter | Image Credit – Picyrl

When a hurricane hazard has been identified, your primary concern should be getting to a secure location as quickly as practicable. If you find yourself on a beach, take every precaution to get back to the city before the boats stop operating. 

Neighborhood refuges and larger resorts are typically engineered to survive severe weather in hurricane-prone regions. Relatively small resorts may not be as structurally sound, particularly those on the shoreline. 

Make plans to relocate to a secure facility as soon as possible. Remember that guest houses are frequently reserved in the circumstances such as these. They could also exploit the situation by raising their hotel prices.

If you need to evacuate:

  • Consider taking only what you absolutely need from your emergency supply kits, such as mobile phones, chargers, medications, passports, and cash.
  • Disconnect all of your gadgets. Shut off the electric system, gas, and water if you have some time.
  • If there is traffic, take the motorways that emergency personnel strongly suggest. Other pathways may be obstructed or flooded. Driving through flood zones should never be a good idea—cars and other automobiles can be swallowed up or stagnate within only 6 inches of flowing water.
  • Enquire with your local emergency management desk about lodging for owners and their domestic animals.

If you need to stay home:

  • Maintain your disaster supply kit in an easily accessible location.
  • Turn on the radio or television for hurricane alerts.
  • Keep indoors at all times. Never go outside, even if it appears to be calm and collected. Sit tight until you notice an official statement indicating that the Hurricane has passed. Sometimes the weather calms down in the middle of a hurricane, only to deteriorate rapidly.
  • Remain away from windows throughout a storm; glass shards or flying objects might injure individuals. Spend the night in a space with no windows or enter a wardrobe.
  • If you are forced to evacuate by emergency personnel or if your residence is compromised, you might have to go to a sanctuary or a neighbor’s house.

Gather emergency supplies

Gather emergency supplies
Gather emergency supplies | Image Credit – Nara

You may require stockpiles to take care of your family and keep them safe and comfortable during and after a disaster. Remember that a hurricane could knock out your water and electricity supply. You might very well also be unable to move due to traffic crashes. 

Routes may become swamped or impassable. That is why it is best to prepare up on just about everything you may require right now. Make sure to have the following items on hand:

  • A stockpile of food and clean water in the event of a disaster.
  • A supply of urgent medications.
  • Disaster power generators, such as flashlights, and remember to keep extra batteries on hand.
  • Personal belongings and protection equipment.
  • Medical files, wills, passports, and proof of identity are all examples of essential papers.
  • An extinguisher can serve handy in plenty of events. Please ensure that everyone in your household understands when and how to use it.

Do not wander around.

Do not wander around as big waves may be waiting
Do not wander around as big waves may be waiting

Throughout a hurricane, refuse to drive or head outside. Commuting can be hazardous flash flooding and destructive wind speeds. If you really must be out during a storm, avoid walking through moving water. Six inches of quickly flowing water has the potential to strike you off the floors. 

Keep in mind the expression “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” Do not try driving on flooded streets. Within only two feet of tidal currents, cars can be swept away. Remain in your vehicle if it gets stuck in fast-moving water. If the water within the vehicle is soaring, take asylum on the roof. You must also not drive around roadblocks.

Get your family and pets ready.

You should make sure to go through your family’s emergency response plan. Constantly check back for new features on the Hurricane. Follow television, watch the news, or go online. 

Concerns regarding exceptional needs should be directed to the treatment center, public institute of medicine, or law enforcement agencies. Receive guidance about what to do if you or a family member is elderly or disabled and unable to escape quickly. 

Also, keep your pets and domesticated animals in a secure location.

What if you are driving?

Don't negligent drive
Don’t negligent drive | Image Credit – Austin Ellis

Presumably, you get caught in a hurricane with no secure environment to pull off the highway, or you discover yourself in rowdy but driveable circumstances. Whatever your justification for driving through a hurricane, you must do everything in your power to make the travel safe and secure. 

The safety precautions begin with a responsibility to go gradually. It’s not a permissible sentiment to try to break speed limits or make up for a lost time in the middle of a storm. The roadways are likely to be slippery, the pools of water unexpectedly deep, and the storm may knock your car into oncoming traffic. All of these issues are aggravated by negligent driving.

But, what if you’re on the sea?

If boating is one genuine enthusiasm, undergoing a hurricane at waters is a matter of “when” and not “if!” The tips below will not guarantee that you will survive a hurricane uninjured, but they will boost your likelihood of survival! Your major takeaway- when it comes to dealing with storms at sea, don’t shove your head and give up.

Turn off your electronics.

Keep in mind any weather fluctuations you notice within your sight; cloud formations frequently indicate the category of weather pattern that is approaching, and thunder can endanger both your ship and your team. 

Unplugging power sources (except bilge pump batteries) can help shield your equipment and electricity from lightning strikes. The safest approach for you and your crew is to hide out in the compartment.

Look for a port

A few captains choose to ride out the sea hurricane, whereas others seek to avoid the destructive event as much as doable. Start moving towards an attainable harbor or anchorage location if one is conveniently close. 

Make a mental note of any hurricane openings and port facilities along the way to make this strategy a reality. Based on the intensity of the impending disaster, it may be worthwhile to turn your back and ride the waves to the coast as it is a high-stakes game.

Use the anchor

Individuals will indeed be able to fully control their placement on waters more efficaciously in the strong wind if you use equipment such as a sea anchor. The slower your boat travels, the easier it is to navigate – particularly if you don’t have much sea room.

Additional Tips

  • Ensure that you always keep non-cooking food products on hand in your emergency supply. The most functional items to bring with you are bottled water and non-perishable meals.
  • Maintain candles and torchlight readily available. Power failures are possible, so make absolutely sure you have a backup light source.
  • Purchase a radio if you do not have one. For emergency procedures, tune in to local stations. A rechargeable battery-powered radio is your safest choice if the electricity goes out.
  • Park your car in a well-protected area, away from power lines, trees, and water sources such as rivers.
  • Before actually venturing out, wait for the officials to give the all-clear. Even when the storm has faded away, never presume that the Hurricane is over. Countless hurricanes have ‘calm eyes’ in the center and seem almost dead when they aren’t. Frequently, fierce storms will reopen in the reverse direction.
  • Make a plan for family communication. Inform friends and family where you will be going and make plans to keep them updated as the storm tacks and after it passes.
  • Communicate with neighbors, senior citizens, or others who may require additional assistance.

What to do once the Hurricane has died?

Aftermath of a Hurricane
Aftermath of a Hurricane | Image Credit – Denniz Futalan

Continue to stay indoors until the danger has passed. If you were forced to evacuate, do not revert until local authorities say it is safe to do so. Conduct a preliminary vulnerability assessment of your physical vicinity. Make an effort to contact family members or friends who are not in the region. 

Keep an eye on local media and emergency responders. Until further directive, do not consume or cook meals with tap water. Certainly, assist your neighborhood if you can, but don’t go too much further. Do not grill or use gasoline-powered machinery in your kitchen and avoid using candles.

To Wrap Up

Whenever it involves prepping for a massive event such as a hurricane or any other natural disaster – it is often a good idea to be ready. If forecast models predict a disaster, it’s probable to occur soon.  

This forecast implies that if there is a time to get ready for a hurricane, it is now – so that if you are caught in a hurricane, you will have little problem maintaining your families and loved ones sheltered and safe.

Shradha Bhatta holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Social Work along with a Post-graduate degree in Project Management from Georgian College in Canada. Shradha enjoys writing on a variety of topics and takes pleasure in discovering new ideas. She likes traveling and spending time with nature. She is a very people-person who loves talking about climate change and alerting people to go green!