Preparing to Ride Out a Hurricane

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

photo1Hurricane season is well upon us; and while it has been a relatively mild season so far, we’ve had a couple which have been devastating, especially the one that hit Louisiana. Hurricanes are some of nature’s most potent attacks, and we have to be ready for them, if we live anywhere that one can strike.

Basically, a hurricane hits us with two things: wind and water. The winds from a hurricane can top 100 miles an hour; strong enough to destroy anything in their path. The water usually comes in the form of rain caused flooding, but for those who live near the shore, flooding from storm surge can be even worse to survive.

It’s essential that you know if you live in a flood zone. If you do, then it might be wiser to evacuate your home, rather than trying to ride the storm out. Several thousand people who lived in New Orleans died, simply because of not evacuating; and if there is anyplace that is subject to flooding, it’s a city built below sea level.

Prepare Your Home

The first part of preparing for any hurricane is to make sure your home is ready to ride it out. This means making sure that it’s ready for all that wind and rain. There are several specific actions you need to do, to make sure your home is ready:

  • Install shutters on the home or cut plywood covers for the windows. Taping your windows won’t keep them from breaking. Security window film can’t even do that. It might keep the glass in the window frame, but it will still be broken.
  • Make sure your roof is installed with hurricane clips. This is a requirement in most areas which are prone to having hurricane. But don’t just assume that your home has them. Take the time to check.
  • Keep the branches of any trees that are near your home trimmed, especially those with branches that go over your home’s roof. Hurricanes can break tree branches, which always seem to land on the roof of the house or car. Either way they cause a lot of damage.
  • Pick up and put away anything loose – barbecue grills, lawn furniture, children’s toys, flower pots, etc. Any of these can become a projectile in 100 mph winds.
  • If you have fragile plants, stake and tie them securely. Small trees may need guy wires, attached to stakes in the ground.
  • At the last minute, you should turn off gas and propane to prevent the possibility of a gas explosion.

Prepare Yourself

Any major hurricane is going to disrupt services, most specifically electricity, water and deliveries to the local supermarket. So, you need to stockpile enough food, water and other critical supplies to get you through the hurricane and its aftermath. In many cases, surviving the aftermath of the hurricane, while you are waiting for things to get back to normal, will be worse than surviving the hurricane itself.

Basics that you should stockpile:

  • Enough food to last a month
  • Drinking water – at least one gallon per person per day
  • Water for washing and flushing toilets
  • Water filters – to filter more water for use
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • First-aid supplies
  • Sanitary and cleaning supplies – you’re likely to have a mess to clean up
  • Tarps and duct tape – in case a part of your home is damaged and you need to cover it up
  • Battery operated radio – to get the news
  • Full gas tanks in all your vehicles

Of course, as a prepper, you probably have these items on hand anyway, plus a whole lot more. But it doesn’t hurt to double-check your stockpile, doing so from the viewpoint of surviving the hurricane and a month’s worth of reconstruction, before things can even pretend to be back to normal.

During the Hurricane

Surviving the hurricane itself is fairly easy, if your home is ready for it. With your windows and roof secure, you can simply ride out the storm indoors, without problems. If there is any risk of your windows breaking, simply stay towards the center of your home, where glass fragments won’t reach you.

People living in apartment buildings, staying in hotels and working in multi-story buildings will want to get down to the lower floors while the hurricane is blowing. High winds may make these buildings sway. While it is probably perfectly safe inside the building, the movement could be very disconcerting. Such sway will be much less pronounced on lower floors.

You should also look for rooms that are towards the center of the building, where there are no windows. It is doubtful that the glass of the windows will be covered, so there is a chance that the windows will break, sending glass shards flying through the building, where they can hurt people.

Listen to your radio during the storm, so that you will know the hurricane’s progress. You’ll want some official sounding of all clear, so that you don’t mistake the eye of the storm passing over for the storm’s end. Leaving the safety and security of the building in the eye could be disastrous, as you probably wouldn’t be able to complete whatever errand and make it back inside.

After the Hurricane

Let me reiterate here – Be sure that the storm has ended and not that the eye is passing over, before leaving the security of any building. Those 100 mph winds can make it impossible for you to stand, walk or even maintain your position. There’s a strong chance that they’ll knock you over and prevent you from making it back to safety.

The big job after the hurricane passes is putting your life back together. Many things will need to be done, which are outside your control. Your part is to do whatever you can, to ensure that when city services are available, you’re ready to make use of them. That will entail cleaning up your property and making any necessary home repairs.

It’s not uncommon for it to take a month or more for things to return to some semblance of normal, in the wake of a hurricane. Workers often have to clean up broken down tree branches and other debris, before they can even make repairs to things like power lines. Be patient, take care of your area of responsibility and live off the food and other supplies you have stockpiled.

Some people will be out looting and scavenging, because they aren’t prepared. You may have to defend home and family from these people, so be ready. Keep your guns handy, but don’t brandish them, threatening anybody.

And of course, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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