Beyond swimming, water danger comes in all forms. For Americans living in Florida, that danger became very real as Hurricane Ian reached landfall
. With a death toll of at least 89 people, it is already being called the second-deadliest storm to strike the United States in the 21st
Century. To help people prepare and stay protected, this is an opportune time to revisit your family’s Hurricane Safety Checklist.
What is Needed to Prepare a Hurricane Safety Checklist?
As with any dangerous weather event, it always pays to be prepared. If your area is susceptible to these types of storms, creating a Hurricane Safety Checklist is critical.
To start, pay attention to the weather reports. Typically, these hurricanes don’t sneak up on a population. Meteorologists often track them for days or even weeks ahead of time. While there are always unforeseen circumstances, this can help you and your family prepare for the worst.
Before the storm occurs, the best precaution you can take is to prep your yard, home and pool area. For example, get your home ready for an impending beating from the elements. For one, you should keep your gutters clean. If they are clogged, it is possible that they can fill with water and crash down, damaging your home and possibly injuring someone.
If you can move your car, bicycle or even garbage cans into a garage before a storm, do so. Beyond the damage they could receive from the hurricane, they could also float away and injure someone caught in a flood.
Don’t Neglect the Pool Area
When it comes to a pool area, remove anything that might become dangerous. The DIY mesh pool fences
are extremely sturdy, but if the pool is closed and you are preparing your home, this might be a good time to take advantage of their removability. Likewise, any pool furniture, grills or other potential hazards should be stored inside to prevent them from floating away or causing injuries.
Prepare Your Family and Pets
An important aspect of any Hurricane Safety Checklist is making sure your family is familiar with the ins and outs of your plan. Storms can be quite scary, especially for young children. Creating a family evacuation plan before the storm occurs should help to alleviate some of the associated stress.
First and foremost, expect to stay away from windows. During powerful winds, the glass can shatter and hurt someone. To this end, be sure to keep a radio, flashlight and first aid kit close at hand.
Additionally, try to stay upstairs. If flooding occurs, it is better to remain as high above the water as possible. Drowning danger is a serious risk in a hurricane.
For pets, it is best to get them out of harm’s way before the storm. Take them to an out-of-town family member’s home, where they will not get caught in the waters. Far too many pets are neglected during raging storms. Leave space in your Hurricane Safety Checklist for your furry friends.
Make Sure Everyone Knows the Evacuation Route
If the worst happens and your family is forced to evacuate, it is best to know the route and locations ahead of time. This includes children and elderly relatives. While it is ideal to stay together, every member of the family should know how to call for help and how to get to safety. In times of panic, it is easy to get separated from each other. Every person should know the location of the nearest FEMA shelter
, hotel or meetup spot. This spot should be a central and close place for the entire family.
For additional peace of mind, everyone should have a card with their emergency contacts, name, address and any relevant medical information. Run drills to make sure everyone knows how to stay safe during the ordeal. All families are different, so all disaster plans and Hurricane Safety Checklists may be different as well. That said, knowing what is best for your situation and planning ahead can help your family to prepare.