If a hurricane is forecast, stay glued to weather reports, and if evacuation is advised, go. But if you have the all-clear to stick it out, ready yourself and your home.
– Stock up on nonperishable foods, prescriptions, and hygiene essentials.
– Cover windows with plywood. Use wood screws, not nails, anchored into exterior walls.
– Lash down (or stow indoors) anything from your yard that might become a flying projectile in a storm.
– Assess which trees might be blown onto the house. Trim limbs that seem vulnerable, and avoid rooms under big trees once the storm starts.
– Know how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity in case you’re instructed to do so.
– While the faucets are still flowing, fill up bathtubs, sinks, and buckets so you have an emergency supply if the water is cut off or contaminated by the storm.
– Shelter in an interior room away from windows. Take a radio—preferably a battery-operated or wind-up one—to keep up with news of the storm.
– For fire safety, set the bases of your emergency candles in a dish filled with water.
– Store valuables as high as possible—ideally in the attic. That’s also a great place to stash an axe, which will prove useful if you need to break through to your roof to escape rising water.
– Don’t be fooled into thinking the storm is over just because the weather becomes calm. Remain in shelter until after the eye passes, the storm renews its fury, and then gradually moves away.