Hurricane Preparedness Checklist: Definitive Guideline That You Need

Hurricane Preparedness ChecklistYou can diss doomsday preppers all you want, but you find yourself turning towards them in times of crisis more often than not.

Hurricane season is all about being prepared and being on alert. The least one can do is to create a hurricane preparedness checklist.

It’s a necessity, especially with the hurricane season becoming more disastrous and unpredictable each year. It’s an annual occurrence for many regions. This checklist contains all the necessary guidelines you need when you get severely affected.

In this article, I will be going over that checklist in detail. So, bear with me.

Consequences of Ignoring the Signs

There are definitive signs of hurricanes. You can prepare in the days ahead if you know when and where they usually occur. Things won’t be in your favor if you ignore them.

Here’s a bit of anecdotal history,

It was Christopher Columbus who first encountered a hurricane in European history. He was near Hispaniola, present-day Dominican Republic & Haiti, when he faced the storm.

The locals did inform him about these storms. They called them “Huracan” or “Black Tempests.” He managed to save his fleet from destruction.

However, things didn’t go so well for Hispaniola’s local governor De Oravando who sent a ship full of gold and slaves, ignoring Columbus’ warnings.

Sources:

Hurricane Destruction in South Carolina: Hell and High Water
By Tom Rubillo
Published by: The History Press 2006
Charleston, SC
PG 24-25

Know About Hurricane Season First

If you want to make a complete hurricane safety checklist — first, we have to learn about the hurricane season and its timing. When do hurricanes normally heat? And more importantly, where do they hit?

Tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic are called Hurricanes. The usual time of hurricane forming is from June through November.

After analyzing the history of tropical cyclones, aka Hurricanes, over the last 100 years, according to the National Hurricane Center, the period from June 1 to November 30 is the official Hurricane season.

Like all things, not all hurricanes are the same. Some require more concern than others. Some timid hurricanes don’t affect the population as much, while others can be devastating.

If you want to be more specific, the statistics point towards the period between August and October as the time when severe hurricanes occur. That being said, you can’t pinpoint the exact time since hurricanes can become deadly at any moment. So, they can happen at any time.

Hurricane Season in 2022

The recent 2021 hurricane season was the third most active hurricane season on record. This season saw 21 storms forming over the Atlantic. The 2020 hurricane season was even more active.

The period of June-November is taken by the convention. But hurricane season isn’t very predictable. For example, storms do take place outside this period. 2021 hurricane season was the 7th consecutive year when storms formed before the period. Storm Anna was formed on May 22, 2021.

So, You can easily guess by looking at the information above, when can hurricane hit in your area at 2022

Hurricane Season in the Different States of USA

Hurricane Season in the Different States of USA

Knowing the chances of a hurricane hitting your area is vital to your pre-hurricane guideline. According to the organization National Hurricane Center, 10 states in the USA are more affected by the hurricane season than others. If you’re in these states, you need to start preparing ASAP. Here’s a list,

Florida

This state is practically in the belly of the ocean. The coastline is its border along the Gulf of Mexico. And this makes Florida the most hurricane-affected state. Since 1851, a record 113 hurricanes have struck this region.

Due to the geographical location, virtually every part of Florida is vulnerable to hurricanes. Cities in Southeast Florida such as Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale get affected by hurricanes.

The list includes cities like Fort Myers and Naples of Southwest Florida, and St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and the Atlantic Coast in West Florida.

Texas

The coast of Texas is another region that’s severely affected in the hurricane season. Compared to Florida, it gets hammered by half the number of storms. Three cities are mostly affected. They are Galveston, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville.

This state holds the record for the most disastrous hurricane in US history, the “Galveston Hurricane.” It took the lives of 8,000 or so people.

Louisiana

In 2005, Louisiana was hit by a category 5 Hurricane Katrina. That is not easy to forget the event. Over 1,800 people died during that period. The city’s infrastructure isn’t built properly to handle such a damaging storm.

North Carolina

The state of North Carolina was hit by 50 hurricanes over the last 150 years. It’s not as susceptible to hurricanes as Florida or Texas. The office of Carolina State Climatology says the state experiences one tropical storm once every 4 years. That being said, no hurricane season is ever easy.

South Carolina

This south part of Carolina is a lot safer place from hurricanes, with only 30 hurricanes hitting it. There hasn’t been a category 3 hurricane since 1959.

Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi

These states have parts of their border along the coastline near the Gulf of Mexico. And that makes them great tourist spots as well as vulnerable to tropical storms. A bit of alertness is all that’s needed to avoid any life-threatening outdoor activities.

New York and Virginia

NY and the old country Virginia are the least affected states, with 12 and 11 hurricanes hitting them, respectively. In 2007, Hurricane Irene made 7-10 billion dollars worth of damage on the east coast in states of North Carolina, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York. Power outages were affecting lives in Virginia.

Step-by-Step Guide for Making a Comprehensive Hurricane Preparation Checklist

Now, about the checklist, there are quite a few topics in it. Below, we’ll be going over each of the checklists for different circumstances.

Pre-Hurricane Alert Checklist

You have to prepare a few things in advance. It’ll help you tackle the situation better when there’s a hurricane.

  • Get yourself a hurricane alert service like NOAA.
  • Monitor local weather news
  • Keep notes of the local shelter locations
  • Know the evacuation routes
  • Prepare a rendezvous point for your family in case you get separated

Food and Water Checklist

Food and Water Checklist

If you’re going to hunker down during the hurricane, you’re going to need a good amount of food supply. Stock 72 hours’ worth of food supply. I’d suggest getting more if you can.

  • One gallon of water per person
  • Non-perishable food (canned food, dried fruits, dehydrated foods, etc.)
  • Camp stove
  • Disposable utensils
  • Salt & Pepper

Clothes Checklist

Clothes Checklist

It’ll be cold and raining throughout the period. You should keep a few winter clothes, rain-proof clothes in stock.

  • A couple of sweaters
  • Gloves
  • Socks
  • Raincoats
  • Blanket

Medical Emergency Checklist

Medical Emergency Checklist
  • Pain medications
  • Diapers
  • Female hygiene products
  • Store a couple of weeks’ worth of your medical prescriptions
  • First aid kit (plastic bandages, allergy medications, ointments, alcohol pads, creams, gauze, tweezers, one-time band-aids, and anti-biotic cream)
  • Check the expiration dates once in a while so that you can replace them if outdated

Home Security Check List During Hurricanes

Here are the things you need to check off the list when you’re affected by a hurricane,

Cover or Reinforce Your Windows

Not everyone will be able to get to the shelters. But you can prepare your home by bracing the windows with plywood, metal bars, and other materials.

Brace Your Doors and Repair or Reinforce Your Roof

Use roof tie-downs to lock them in place. Heavy winds can topple your roof quite easily without it.

Keep Sandbags Around the House’s Entry Points and Clean the Drains and Gutters

Placing sandbags around the house can keep rainwater out. There can be severe flooding as a result of the storm. These bags will keep the water out.

Trim Your Trees to Prevent Dead Limbs from Becoming Projectiles

Clean hard-mulch from the yard. The trees should be trimmed and cleaned so that the chances of tree branches striking the house get smaller.

Any Ungrounded Items Should Be Taken Inside to Prevent Any Accident

Clean your yard from items that’ll become flying projectiles. For example, toys, tables, chairs, and trash can, etc.

Do a Check-Up on Your Home Security Measurements (E.G. Alarms and Sensors)

Call up your security provider and do a security system check-up.

Invest in Environmental Sensors

Environmental sensors such as barometers are a great way to keep notice of the changing weather conditions.

Make an Inventory of Your Valuable Items

Note down all the items in your house and their place.

Make Hard Copies and Cloud Copies of Every Necessary Digital Belonging

You don’t know if you need to evacuate or not. It’s a good idea to make copies of every document so that you can reproduce them if you lose the original copies.

Daily Necessities Checklist

Daily Necessities Checklist
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Water container
  • Radio
  • Emergency tool kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Duct tape
  • Protective head and eye gear
  • Matches

Power Outage During Hurricanes

You’ll experience extreme power outages during a hurricane. You’ll need to stay without electric power for a long period. Spending time without electricity is hard as we’re highly accustomed to it. So, you’ll need a way to make things easier for your family.

Problems

One of the main issues with power outages is the disconnection from the world. You can’t get information on what’s happening. Not only that, but passing time can become hard. You can do a few things to solve these things

Solution Check List

  • You could buy a generator or rent one in the days leading to the storm
  • Fuel
  • Store board games to pass the time during hurricane
  • Phone and charger
  • Hand-cranked chargers are quite good in these situations
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Two-way radios

Others Things That You Should Take Care During Hurricane Emergency

Keep Cash in Hand

It’s not going to be easy since all the ATMs and banks might be closed. Keep a little amount of cash with you. But not too much since it can make you a target for robbery.

Prepare Your Family

When facing a hurricane, your family needs to know what to do and where to go. Assign tasks to the family members. Everyone should be on the same place. Let them know where the food stocks, go-bags are ahead of time.

Prepare a Few “Go” Bags

Go-bags are necessary for emergencies. A prepped go-bag increases your chances of survival significantly since you’re saving time and using that time to get to a safe place. One go bag is okay, but having multiple is a must for a large family.

Evacuation Plans and Routes

If there is a need for evacuation, the roads will be affected by traffic jams with thousands trying to get away to the shelters. So, it’s a good idea to have a specific route to the nearest shelter or the next one.

  • Plant a route using a paper atlas
  • Plan routes from your workplace, school, and markets, etc.

Personal Documents Checklist

  • Your and your family’s passport, birth certificate, social security card, and all other important personal, financial, medical documentation
  • Get s water-sealed  box to keep the documents safe

Avoid These Mistakes When Facing a Hurricane

  • Don’t be reluctant about your preparation just because you don’t live near the coast. Hurricanes can come deep inside landmass without notice.
  • Ignoring Evacuation alerts
  • Taking shelter in places with lots of trees
  • Don’t start a generator inside the house

Hurricane Alert & News Resources

  • Hurricane tracker from Accuweather, Weather Channel, and Wunderground, etc
  • NOAA weather radio
  • National Hurricane Center
  • Fema
  • Keep the contact number of the local Red Cross organization

Final Words

Prepare today, worry less tomorrow. A hurricane preparation checklist = peace of mind. Having a checklist makes things a lot easier when hurricane season comes around the corner.

Being prepared for it is only half the struggle. Don’t be like De Oravando by ignoring storm alerts. Prioritize your and your family’s life in these situations.

This hurricane checklist should come in handy. I’d suggest making your own checklist with the things that you need the most. What works for me might not work for you. Use the above checklist as a guideline.

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