May 09, 2007

A Little Early This Year: CY's Hurricane Survival Guide

I'd not planned on reposting this for several more weeks, but Andrea has other ideas.

WARNING: This is not comprehensive hurricane survival guide. I've only been through a few, and hardly consider myself an expert. Anyone who claims to be able to tell you everything you need to do to survive in every situation is lying. Adjust the following accordingly to your circumstances, but remember the only way to beat a hurricane is to not be there when it arrives.

Before the Storm: General

  • Listen to the radio, watch television news, or read online news sources to keep abreast of developing tropical systems. Keep close track of storms that may head in your general direction. Don't be caught flat-footed.
  • Know the hurricane evacuation routes for your area. By a state map or better yet, an atlas that can provide you with parallel routes away from an impending storm.
  • Make sure any vital medical prescriptions are filled in advance of an impending storm.
  • Make hotel reservations further inland several days in advance "just in case." Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Before the Storm: Around the House

  • Secure any lightweight objects outside the home. Bikes, toys, plants and other outdoor items can be carried away by wind and water, often at unpleasant velocities.
  • Board up your windows if possible, or tape them with duct tape in an asterisk pattern (*) if that is your only option. This serves to reinforce the glass, and in the event of a window shattering, may keep the shattered glass together so that it falls to the floor instead of spraying.

Before the Storm: Transportation

  • Fill your gas tank several days in advance, and keep it topped off.
  • Check your vehicle's fluids, and belts, making sure to top off your windshield washer fluid and coolants.
  • Make sure your tires are in good shape, and make sure your spare tire is inflated.
  • Make sure your tires have adequate tread. See manufacturers guidelines.
  • Leave when storm impact seems imminent. Do not wait for the official evacuation order if you can leave earlier.

Before the Storm: Personal

  • Create a "bug-out bag."
      This is an emergency evacuation bag of bare essentials you make need in an emergency. In this bag (preferably a backpack) include:
    1. a small battery-operated AM/FM radio, and fresh batteries for same.
    2. two waterproof flashlights and/or battery operated lanterns with fresh batteries for same.
    3. cell phone (and charger).
    4. disposable lighter and waterproof matches.
    5. personal toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, and other personal hygiene products as applicable.
    6. a first aid kit with painkillers, bandages and band aids.
    7. duct tape (min. 2 rolls)
    8. sturdy pocket knife
    9. hammer & prybar
    10. box of 8D nails
    11. blankets (multiple)
    12. clothes
    13. socks
    14. raingear
    15. study boots
    16. general-purpose leather gloves
    17. enough non-perishable, ready-to-eat food and water (1 gallon per person per day) for three days.
    18. last but not least, all insurance information, property, vehicle, life, and medical.
  • create a contacts list. Include a I.C.E. "in case of emergency" number.
  • put an I.C.E. notification with your ID and store it in your cell phone.

Before the Storm: Evacuation

  • pack bug-out bag, and supplies including food and water into vehicle.
  • make one last check to make sure outdoor items are secured.
  • cut off all electrical switches, appliances, televisions, lights, etc.
  • before you leave, contact your I.C.E. person and let them know where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
  • make sure all windows are closed tightly and locked.
  • lock all doors.
  • leave.
  • anticipate high winds and driving rain. Stay calm, drive cautiously. Allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Beware of standing water.
  • Call your I.C.E. contact when you arrive safely.

During the Storm
Moving away from the hurricane will most likely reduce the effects of a hurricane, but it cannot eliminate risks entirely, even hundred of miles inland.

  • Duct tape windows in asterisk or "star" pattern (*). stay away from windows. draw blinds and curtains, if possible, to contain glass in the event of a window breaking.
  • stay inside, away from windows and doors especially during the eye of the storm. Winds restart again quickly with extreme velocities as the eyes passes and the wind shifts 180 degrees.
  • stay near interior walls. If the winds are very strong move into an interior bathroom where the building is likely to be strongest.
  • do not leave unless flooding is imminent or you are instructed to do so by authorities.

After the Storm

  • stay off the road and away from affected areas until authorities clear the area for your return.
  • watch for downed power lines and other debris in roads.
  • be very careful of standing pools of water and especially flowing water. It is ofnte deeper and more powerful than it appears.
  • watch for displaced wildlife. poisonous snakes, fireants, and abandoned pets. all can present hazards.
  • watch for dangerous debris.
  • lookout for injured people and animals. Call authorities if possible.
  • do not become a tourist. go home, and stay home.
  • secure your property. take stock of any damage. Catalog damage for insurance purposes.

Again, this list is hardly comprehensive, and cannot anticipate special needs or unexpected situations. It is however, a start, and can help you get ready for the 2007 storm season.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 9, 2007 10:37 AM

If they live in NO you might suggest they learn how to swim.

Posted by: David Caskey at May 9, 2007 11:10 AM

I'd recommend turning off the natural gas and also having a fire extinguisher handy. But as for your bug-out bag, do you really expect someone to be able to carry all that? That list is for a tornado shelter-style environment. It's good stuff, but way too much for someone who's going to be on the move.

Posted by: Granddaddy Long Legs at May 9, 2007 11:17 AM

You might also move someplace with better weather.... I am so glad I'm an Oregonian (despite our venal politicians).

Posted by: Jeff at May 9, 2007 11:23 AM

If they have a Democrat controlled government hostile to President Bush, shouldn't they just leave now?

Posted by: SouthernRoots at May 9, 2007 11:31 AM

Its funny their giving Bush crap about his 17-1976 gaffe. At least he realized it in the middle of saying it and turned it into a joke. Im sure O-holier-than-thou-bama's huge mistake will just prove that he is an even smarter than they think.

BTW complaining there is no Nat. Guard for the cleanup is ridiculous. The NG is a Military organization. There job to fight bad guys not clean up natural disasters. We are at war people, get a grip!

Posted by: Justin at May 9, 2007 01:52 PM

Very nice work, add prescription drug info, and have a plan for your pets, don't just watch out for abandoned pets.
Have a pet carrier that you can move your pet safely.

Posted by: NortonPete at May 9, 2007 04:17 PM

A quick way to safeguard pool furniture is to throw it all into the pool. I'm serious. We did it all the time when we lived there.

Posted by: Bill Smith at May 9, 2007 05:28 PM