8 Hurricane Survival Tips
The best hurricane survival strategy is to be prepared, but even the best plans can be laid waste by a natural disaster. Here are some tips to help you survive a hurricane when things goes wrong.
Number One: Stay calm, think things through. You can do this.
Number Two: High Ground. If the storm hasn’t hit, evacuate the area. If that’s not possible, and you are in a low area or near a river or stream, move to higher ground. If possible, check whether advisories for instructions.
Number Three: Lower your comfort standards. While there’re are a lot of things that would be nice to have, all you really need is shelter, water and food. Prioritize these basics. The body can survive three weeks without food, 3 days without water, and as little as three hours without shelter in severe weather.
Number Four: Shelter in place. Shelter the storm in dry place like a protected basement or doorway, away from windows. Avoid high-rise structures, down power lines and areas that smell of naturals gas, fuel or chemicals. Once you’ve found a relatively safe area, shelter in place, because wandering through additional storm damaged areas increases your risk of injury and death. In most cases, it’s better to wait for rescue crews to arrive if you need help.
Number Five: Water. If you don’t have a reserve of bottled water, use a water filter or boil water using a camp stove or wood based fire. Build a wood based fire only as a last resort. Never build a fire indoors or near flammable structures. Use a metal pan or container set on top of metal container to contain the fire. A safer method than boiling water is to catch rain water by setting out clean pitchers or other containers in a safe, easy to access area. Another alternative is to funnel water into a water bottle or other container using something like a flexible cutting board, bubble wrap or a clean plastic garbage bag. Simply setting out a clean open plastic garbage or shopping bag by itself can be an effect water collection tool. Find a heavy household item to set in the bottom so it doesn’t blow away in the storm.
Number Six: Food. The storm will subside by the time you will need to eat. If you have food, use it sparingly, in case storm recovery takes longer than expected. Keep active, talk, play games, do whatever it takes to keep your mind busy and your body rested to keep your thoughts off food.
Number Seven: Signal for help: If you need help, use a cellphone before using a wall phone. If there is no signal, try texting instead. Text messages can sometimes get through on a weak or intermittent cellular signal or when the system is overloaded. To save phone battery, turn your phone on for only a few minutes ever 1 to 3 hours as needed. If a phone isn’t available, use a whistle or whistle with your mouth to call for help, as you can whistle longer than can yell. Three short blasts on a whistle or taps on a kettle or steel pipe will be recognized as a sign for help, as will three or six flashes of light. You can also raise your arms and hands over you’re head to form a circle to signal aircraft that you need help.
Number Eight: Your brain. The most important survival tool is the one between your ears. Stay calm. Use fear as a tool. Ask yourself, what am I most afraid and then work to minimize those risks.