As opposed to the eye of the tiger, the eye of a hurricane is not something you want to experience. When the National Weather Service puts out a Hurricane Warning for your area, it means the storm is likely to generate winds more than 73 miles per hour! At this point they may advise you to get away from the coast and head inland. If this announcement is made, they aren’t joking around and it’s time to EVACUATE!

So what if you’ve missed the window of opportunity and you are now confined to your home? What do you do?

1. Turn off electricity. If your home is in a flood risk area, turn off electricity at the main breaker to avoid damage to major appliances such as a water heater or air conditioning unit.

2. Gather all essentials. Flashlights, a radio, first aid kit and extra batteries to start. If you prepared for potential disaster, you should have enough water and food stocked up. (Water – 1 gallon per person, per day, 2-week supply for home; Food – 2-week supply for non-perishable food. Don’t forget food and water for your pets!)

3. Stay inside and away from the windows. When winds are howling, the best idea is to stay away from the windows or glass doors should falling trees and debris decide to pay a visit. Find a safe area in your home (an interior room, a closet or bathroom on the lower level).

4. Be aware of the eye of the hurricane. The eye can be up to 300 miles across. Just when you think the storm has passed, you could very well be in the middle of it. The calm center can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.

5. Remain indoors until an official “all clear” is given. Typically, more deaths occur after a hurricane than during. The deaths happen when people come into contact with downed power lines or unstable trees, etc. If you believe it’s unsafe for you to stay inside, follow these simple rules to keep you and your family safe:
a. Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in/near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.
b. USE PHONES ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES. Call 911 only for life-threatening situations.
c.Call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, overturned gas tanks, etc.
d.Watch for weakened roads, bridges, tree limbs or porches, which could collapse unexpectedly.

The best option for someone living in the path of a possible hurricane is to be prepared. Just because the area you live in has not been affected in many years, doesn’t mean this year won’t be different. Check out the safety sources below for additional information on preparing for a hurricane and what to do if you are caught in the path.

http://goflorida.about.com/od/floridaweathe1/a/hurricane_safe.htm
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/brochures/owlie/Owlie-Hurricanes.pdf
https://jfsc.ndu.edu/current_students/local_resources/hurricane_guide/hurricane_survivor.asp#evacuate


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