10 Things You Absolutely, Positively, Without Question Should Not Do in a Hurricane
We’re always told to take precautions when a hurricane is on the warpath. Most of the time, people will be told to tie down objects outside, huddle inside and only go out when the storm is over.
But there are some things people might overlook occasionally. Here are some things you should not do during a hurricane.
This is a no-brainer, folks. Between the torrential downpours, debris flying everywhere, and the occasional lightning strike, it’s hardly the time to take a scenic walk. Don’t be “that guy” who laughs in the face of danger, it’s really not worth it. Staying inside is being safe in a hurricane 101.
Stick around, if you live on the coast
This isn’t always applicable, but every now and then, when meteorologists sense the behemoth storm approaching, the authorities will call for a mandatory evacuation. Generally, when an authority figure tells you it’s a good idea to leave, it’s something worth listening to. Seek shelter at an inland family member or friend’s house. The same goes for mobile homes, which can be torn apart much easier than one would think, and high rise buildings, since wind tends to be stronger at higher altitudes.
Watch the storm near a window
This is a tough one — who doesn’t want to glance at the flooded streets, the trees blowing this way and that? Resist the urge. Any of the debris, fallen trees, or high winds outside can easily shatter your windows, leading to a super dangerous combination of glass, water, and various other things you do not want inside your house. Secure the windows, keep the blinds closed, and keep away!
Be on a boat
Do we even need to explain this one? Haven’t you seen ‘The Perfect Storm?’ When hurricanes pick up, the ocean is deadly when you’re not even inside it. Why would you want to be floating on top of it? We cannot stress this enough. Don’t be on a boat during a hurricane. Jeez.
Use your computer
Even though your computer probably won’t work anyway due to a power outage, it’s generally not a good idea to try it. If you’re on a computer and there’s a power surge, you could run the risk of losing your data, damaging your computer, or even getting hurt yourself. A good strategy for your computer (as well as other electronic equipment in your household) is to unplug it from the wall entirely, and keep it high up in case of flooding. If your computer is near a window, consider covering it with a garbage bag or moving it entirely to protect it.
You may think you’re safe inside your car during a storm, but as a wise man once said, “If you’re not dying or giving birth, you probably don’t need it.” Hurricanes can bring downed trees, power lines and broken glass which will severely limit your available paths. The rain-slicked roads are just begging for you to swerve and cause an accident. And in some extreme cases, winds can flip your car over. Nine out of 10 times, it can wait.
Underestimate the eye
The eye of the hurricane is the calm during the storm, the section of respite that can trick the uninformed into thinking the storm has passed. When you notice things dulling down, don’t assume the storm is over and go outside to survey the damage. Hurricane eyes are smaller than you might think, and once you’ve reached the other side of the eye wall, the storm can be just as intense (if not more so) as it was before. Wait for it to completely die down before leaving your safe zone. Tuning your radio to NOAA will help determine when that is.
Wait until the last minute to stock up on supplies
If you hear on Thursday that the storm is coming on Sunday, don’t wait until Saturday night to head out for supplies. Waiting will increase your chances of getting caught in the storm, and the stores will be out of products by the time you get there. Make sure to get plenty of fresh water, non-perishable food, anything that will help brace windows and doors, candles and flashlights, among other things. Draw water in a bathtub to boil at a later point, just in case it becomes difficult to get clean water.
Forget to plan
Just as important as supplies is what to do after the hurricane. People assume they can just “wing it” after a big hurricane, but, unfortunately, we do not always know the extent of its damage. A good plan is to have an out-of-town contact, since local lines will probably be powered down or overloaded after the storm. Make this person the one to facilitate communication in case anyone gets separated during the storm. A good plan is to make sure each person in your care has a fully charged cell phone, since it will also come in handy if you need to make an emergency call.
Though a hurricane is scary, it’s only going to be that much worse if you are a nervous wreck throughout the storm. Keeping a level head is important for your well-being during a storm, and those who are frightened nearby will feel more at ease if they see you keeping calm. Pack a board game in your emergency pack to help younger ones keep their minds off of things, and be sure and take this brief, computerless moment to talk to your loved ones face-to-face for a change.