Hurricanes are considered to be one of the most devastating and dangerous cataclysms known to mankind. Fortunately, today, there exist ways to predict hurricanes and their routes so that the regions that are likely to be under risk can prepare beforehand and take all the necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of the population.
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The major threats during a hurricane include:
- Windborne debris;
- Strong winds;
- Storm surge.
Preparing for an upcoming hurricane, one has two major objectives:
- Protect oneself and close ones;
- Protect the properties (FEMA, n.d.).
For the safety of people, several solutions are depending on the severity of the hurricane: evacuation is the first option if the risk is very high, shelters and staying at home are the solutions in cases when the danger is not as serious. To protect properties, individuals are to remove everything that can result in windborne debris – secure trees, put away objects that can be carried away by strong winds. If there is a danger of flooding, the properties as well as people need to be elevated, moved to the upper floors of the buildings, and waterproofed. Finally, one should purchase respective types of insurance for natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes to obtain reimbursement for the damage.
The individuals living in regions exposed to hurricanes must know the range of danger specific to their particular areas, as well as the most typical risks and threats during floods and hurricanes. To stay on track with the latest weather information, it is important to follow the forecasting and pay attention to warnings and notifications.
Apart from staying aware of the threats and knowing what should be done in theory in case if a disaster strikes, one is to train and practice his/her actions for emergencies (NHC, n.d.). For example, it is useful to practice packing necessary supplies, and knowing the way to the shelter built specifically for disasters, or train oneself and family members how to act at home during a hurricane (occupying a small room without windows that would not be flooded).
Moreover, communication with close ones is critical in emergencies. In cases where the telephone connection and electricity are not working, it is important to have a plan of action: where to meet with the family members and friends and have the numbers of close people written down. Also, it is crucial to master some basic first aid skills to be able to help people when they are hurt. There are specialized courses and classes training people on how to respond to emergencies.
Moreover, the supplies one has with them play a significant role in their safety and security. One is to pack the necessary items beforehand. The most basic set of supplies includes medications and a first aid kit, warm clothes and blankets, drinking water and snacks, flashlights and extra batteries, rain protection, duct tape, and matches (USCG, n.d.). Before and during the hurricane, it is important to pay attention to all the news and weather changes using accessing whatever mass media is available – television, radio, or the internet – and making decisions quickly, depending on the situations that occur. Careful preparations, mindfully packed supplies, and well-thought-through means of communication and information are the keys to one’s safety and survival during the disasters.
FEMA. (n.d.). How to prepare for a hurricane. Web.
NHC. (n.d.). Hurricane preparedness – Be Ready. Web.
USCG. (n.d.). Suggested hurricane supply list. Web.