How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Hurricane Irene. She is a Category 3 hurricane as of 3:43 PM on August 8th 2011. Governor Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, and the hurricane is 48 hours away.

This guide will help anyone in the path of a hurricane stay safe and be prepared for what lies ahead. If you have been in a hurricane you may know what to do already, but for some of you, you have no idea.

Step 1: Have a Plan!
Your family may not be together at the time of the hurricane, so be prepared and think ahead of time. If you know when the hurricane is going to hit try and have all family members and pets inside before it happens.
Know where to go in case you need to evacuate, make a note of nearest shelters, gas stations, hospitals, police and fire stations.

Step 2: Prepare Ahead of Time!
This part is crutial. Make sure you have enough food to last up to a week without power, canned food is the best, which means you need a manual can opener. Make sure you have some food on the highest level of your house, in case of flooding. (Even though the highest level is the most dangerous, if the bottom level floods, you will have food on the top floor.) Turn your fridges thermostat to its highest setting, in case the power goes out, food will stay as cold as possible, for as long as long as it can.
WATER, the most important thing in life is water, without it you are dead. So stock up on water before natural disasters happen. Fill your tub with water before the hurricane strikes, fill empty jugs, containers, cups, ect. with water, that way you have water in case the power goes out, or water pipes break. You can also buy water from the store, although it is likely it will be gone, because people usually flood the stores and buy as much as they can before hurricanes.
Stock up on batteries and flashlights, candles are not reccomended because of the fire hazard. Faraday flashlights are good!
Have an emergency radio handy, the ones that you spin a crank for a minute and turn on are fine.
Take any outdoor furniture inside. Lawn chairs, umbrellas, garbage barrels, flags, anything that can potentially harm you or your home should be taken in. Turn off any propane tanks.
If the hurricane is a big one, boarding up your windows can add another layer of protection to your home. Close all blinds, shutters, doors and windows.
Purchase gasoline before the hurricane, incase you need to drive, or run your genorator. People will tend to rush and buy as much as they can after the hurricane.
Be prepared to evacuate. Listen to government officials, police, firemen and follow the advice they give, if they say to evacuate, you should do it. They will not tell you to evacuate for no reason.If you do evacuate tell family where you are going, unplug eletrical appliances, and lock all doors and windows.

Step 3: Brace Yourself
Now that you have everything ready, brace yourself for the hurricane, keep busy, and stay calm. Keep your family around you and wait until it is over.
Stay inside on the lowest level, in an enclosed room away from glass and or harmful objects. If the hurricane seems to suddenly stop for a while, it may be the eye of the storm and winds will pick up.
If it gets really intense seek shelter under a sturdy table or desk.
Often times during natural disasters social networks are overloaded, and tend to crash, so try not to use them. Also refrain from using the telephone unless it is an emergency. Try to only keep contact with people though text and email.

Step 4: After it is Over
If flooding has occured turn off all eletricity, and tie garbage bags aound your feet and ankles, or wear high boots, sometimes flood water can contain feces, and other unsanitary things. If you smell natural gas, exit your home and find shelter,
If for some reason you can not exit your home, head to the highest level, and wave a white sheet until help arrives.
Call your insurance agent, and take pictures of the damage.
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I hope this in depth guide helped you out! Stay safe.

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