Image from CNN.
It’s hurricane season once again, and with the arrival of Hurricane Isaias and Tropical Storm Gonzalo, the need for preparation has become evident. I grew up on an island in the Caribbean, so I’ve experienced my fair share of hurricanes, including the devastating hurricane Wilma in 2005. While I may be acquainted with the usual hurricane season routine, many friends and loved ones who have only recently moved to a hurricane-prone zone don’t quite know how to stay safe. So, here are some of my tips for getting ready for the arrival of a hurricane:
Staying fed and hydrated is extremely important in case one isn’t able to evacuate the area. When you’re braving a tropical storm at home, there is always the possibility of trees or other structures falling and trapping you inside (been there, done that). Stocking up on canned goods is key, and one can’t forget about the importance of having enough potable water for a few weeks. There is no such thing as too much. It’s better to be safe than hungry.
Toilet paper, female sanitary products, toothpaste, soap, dry shampoo, deodorant. These are just some examples of hygiene products you will likely be using throughout the storm. Granted, these aren’t as important as food (except for maybe the toilet paper and sanitary products), but taking care of your hygiene is an important part of staying healthy and deserves a mention in this list. Also, if you take any prescription medication, make sure you have enough to last through the storm.
Now, this is crucial. Chances are the hurricane will knock down some power lines and leave you without electricity. Batteries and battery-powered amenities like kettles and electric grills may come in handy for cooking. Flashlights are also incredibly useful, especially for those nights when the storm is particularly strong and one has to stay alert. Not to mention, in these modern times, cellphones and other devices allow us to trace the path of the hurricane and stay connected with loved ones, so keeping them charged has become a necessity for many.
Hurricanes and windows are a bad combination, so it’s important to make sure the glass cannot break and fly into your home. Back in ye olden days (just kidding, I’m literally 22), we would tape thick cardboard to the windows with masking tape, both inside and outside, to keep them from breaking. This is not a perfect method, so if you can, nailing wooden planks to cover the glass is very effective and more resistant. Nowadays, you can even buy window and door covers like this specifically for storm protection, but these tend to be more pricey.
This is so important, and it’s crucial to have a first-aid kit around in case of any kind of emergency, not just hurricanes. Storms are powerful, and they can cause more damage than one may realize. Be safe and stay inside away from windows. Don’t use candles and keep an eye on anything that could be a fire hazard. Do not go outside during a hurricane. Remember to make smart decisions, keep important documents and cash in a safe, waterproof place, and take care of yourself and your loved ones.