How to survive a hurricane

Getting through one safely. Before the start of the hurricane season (June), ask the nearest National Weather Service office if your home area might be imperiled. Most hurricane fatalities are caused by the storm surge-a huge dome of water that is driven ashore. If your area is threatened or if you live in a mobile home or near a river or flood plain, be prepared to evacuate.

Check with your local Civil Defense for a hurricane preparedness plan, which will include such information as shelter locations, what to bring, and the safest evacuation route. Ask how long it would take to get to a shelter in peak evacuation traffic.

Inventory your personal property and stock up on emergency supplies. Your home owner’s insurance probably covers wind damage, but make sure you have adequate coverage (hurricane insurance, flood insurance). Store these important records in a watertight case. When a hurricane is coming Keep tuned to your radio or television for a hurricane watch announcement. This message informs you that there’s a possibility of a hurricane. Listen for further advisories.

After a hurricane warning has been announced, double-check your preparations. Anchor outdoor furniture and equipment or bring it indoors. Board up all windows and glass doors; brace garage doors with 2×4’s. Moor your boat securely or move it to a designated safe area.

When leaving for a shelter, secure all window and door locks. Leave pets at home (they’re not allowed in shelters) with plenty of food and water. Take light folding chairs, blankets, and valuable documents.

If your house is inland, well constructed, and on high ground, you may want to stay home. When the storm begins, move to the downwind side of the house, and keep away from windows and glass doors. There’s a lull as the eye of the hurricane passes. Don’t mistake this for the end; fierce winds will return. Don’t go outdoors until local authorities announce that it is safe to do so.