According to the latest climate change data, we’re set to experience more frequent major hurricanes in the years to come. Whether you have faith in predictions or not, it’s hard to argue with the widespread devastation we’ve been seeing more of lately.
As survivalists, we’re always prepared for a worst-case scenario, no matter when it arrives or what form it takes.
We also know we need to adapt our survival techniques to suit the situation. Get ready for the unique challenges this type of weather brings: our hurricane prep list is here to help.
1. Prepare An Emergency Plan
Find out well in advance where the emergency shelters are. Don’t just rely on one location: get a list of all the options within a 25 mile radius. Agree on your own emergency meeting point with family, in case shelters are overcrowded or inaccessible.
Work out the quickest and safest route to each emergency option, both by car and on foot. Do a trial run, then do another. Make sure your entire family has the routes memorised. Write down emergency numbers for everyone to keep with them.
2. Get Your Emergency Kit Ready
This of course starts with your Bug Out Bag, aka everything you need to stay alive for at least 72 hours. Make sure you have all the usual BOB essentials, including a torch, compass, first aid kit, paper map, tarp and water filter.
During hurricane season, add a hand-crank emergency weather radio, so you can stay aware and up to date. Stock up on extra wet weather supplies, including waterproof layers, waders and dry bags.
3.Storm-Proof Your Home & Garden
Invest in storm-shutters for your windows, or board them up if necessary. Don’t use duct tape, as this could cause the glass to break into larger, more dangerous fragments. Stay away from windows while you’re inside. Secure the doors and block up any outside vents. Clear your drains and gutters. Bring in any heavy items that could go flying about, like bikes and outdoor furniture. Cut down any weak trees or tree-limbs ahead of time.
4. Be Ready To Bug Out OR Stay Put
It can sometimes be difficult to know whether your best option is to evacuate or stay put. Monitor TV and radio news so you know what the authorities are recommending or requiring. Be ready for either scenario. If staying put, camp out at the safest spot in your home, which will probably be the basement if you have one. Keep your car sheltered in a garage if possible and make sure it’s fully loaded with fuel. Maintain your vehicle regularly to ensure it’s always in good working order.
5. Stock Up On Supplies
Have everything you need stocked up in bulk. At the very least that includes bottled water, candles, matches, batteries and flash lights. These are the items that will sell out fast, so get organised well before there’s any chance of a storm. Get the family’s prescriptions filled in advance, too. You’re also going to need a lot of canned, preserved and dehydrated food. Buy enough to last at least a month and cover your nutritional bases with a diverse selection.
6. Get A Generator
When a hurricane strikes it’s likely that power lines will go down and you will need to switch off the power to your home. If you want to ensure you still have some power you need to have a generator on site. It becomes vital for heating when the temperature drops dangerously low, especially if you’re unable to build or maintain a fire. Home standby generators run on fuels such as petrol or gas, so make sure to operate your generator outside and away from all windows.
7. Plan For Your Pets
The only pets likely to be allowed in hotels or official shelters are service animals. Compile a list of pet-friendly shelters and hotels to be on the safe side. Make sure your pet is enrolled in a recovery database in the event that you lose contact. Include supplies for your pet in your emergency kit – they will need food, water, any medications and probably a carrier. At home, don’t keep them tied up. They should be able to evacuate independently if needed.
8. Be Ready For Road Emergencies
Get yourself a chainsaw. Make sure you know how to use it and put it in the back of your car well before it’s time to hit the road. You will need it in case fallen trees are blocking your evacuation route, which is highly likely in most terrains. You will also need heavy gloves for moving any items in your path, as well as a recovery strap in case you have to tow heavy items with your car.
9. Bring A Boat
In the event of flooding, a boat might just be the only way you can get around. It could also enable you to rescue others who are trapped. Invest in a collapsible canoe so you can travel quickly if need be. If you’re transporting a family, get an inflatable dinghy and a pump. Just don’t forget you’ll need a patch kit for emergency repairs.
When a Hurricane like Michael or Harvey comes through town, only the best-prepared have a chance of survival. Do everything you can to be ready right now, before the lines for fuel and shelter start to grow.