How To Survive a Wilderness Emergency or an Urban Catastrophe
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Prepare For a Hurricane
If you happen to be in the forecast path of a hurricane, preparation is the key to survival.
Keep your eyes and ears tuned to weather updates. The fortunate thing about hurricanes (if there is anything fortunate) is that you get several days of notification before they make landfall. That is critical time when you should be preparing yourself and your home.
If you’re going to evacuate, do so early. Don’t wait for the official evacuation order, because then you’ll be stuck in gridlock as everyone tries to get out of the area at once. Plan ahead where you’re going to go and how you’re going to get there. Make arrangements with friends or relatives outside the evac zone, so you’ll have a place to go. Take your 72-hour kit when you go.
In any event, prepare your place for long-term survival “in place.” (non-evacuation). Stock up on nonperishable foods, prescription medications, and hygiene essentials.
Cover windows with plywood, using wood screws instead of nails (they’re easier to remove later), firmly anchored into exterior walls.
Lash down (or stow indoors) anything from your yard that might become a flying projectile in the high winds of the storm.
Assess which trees might be blown down onto your house. Trim limbs that seem vulnerable, or remove the tree altogether. If the tree remains, avoid taking shelter in rooms of the house that might be impacted if the tree is blown over.
Know how and where to turn off the electricity, water, and gas supply to the house. Keep the appropriate tools handy to accomplish this task.
While the faucets are still delivering water, fill tubs, sinks and buckets to set aside an emergency supply to see you through the crisis in the event that the water supply is cut off or contaminated.
If you aren’t going to evacuate, take shelter in an interior room away from windows. Take a battery-operated radio and some extra batteries, so you can listen to news updates about the storm.
If you are going to use candles for emergency illumination, place them on a dish filled with water. This is a fire safety issue.
Move valuables to the highest level in the house, to help prevent water damage from flooding.
If you are forced into the attic by rising floodwaters, it’s a good idea to have an axe or chainsaw in the attic. That will give you a chance to cut your way out onto the roof as the storm surge flood rises, blocking exits below.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the storm is over just because the weather suddenly becomes calm. Remain in shelter until after the eye passes, the storm renews its fury, and then gradually moves away.