In the last installment of our blog series on hurricane season, we discussed how to safely avoid flooded areas in the midst of a hurricane. This week, we are going to back up a bit to talk about how to safely evacuate before a hurricane, or during the very beginning of the storm. It should be noted that evacuating in the middle of a hurricane is never a good idea. Once the storm has made landfall in your area, you will essentially have no choice but to stay put where you are. However, it is possible to get out in time to avoid the worst of a hurricane—as long as you have a proper evacuation plan. Keep reading to learn more, and make sure to check our blog throughout the month for everything you need to know about hurricane preparedness.
How to Safely Evacuate for a Hurricane:
- Stay informed: We’ve discussed this before, but it really can’t be overstated. The importance of keeping an eye on news updates before a hurricane strikes is paramount. For one thing, this is how you know what the full danger factor is, and whether you need to evacuate in the first place, or are safe to remain in your home. Remember, even if you live in an area that has been affected by hurricanes before, you should always listen to the authorities—after all, better to be safe than sorry. Furthermore, you will want to follow developments as closely as possible while you can, because eventually there may come a time when you no longer have the electricity to do so. This brings us to…
- Turn off all utilities before leaving your home: Shutting off gas, water, and electricity is hugely important for everyone’s safety during the evacuation process. It’s also a good idea to unplug appliances. In the event of flooding or other major damage to your property, chances are it will not be safe to reenter if all of your power sources are still on. As we talked about with our last blog, this is a matter of safety for you and your family, but also for any clean-up officials that may step onto your property later. Consider how awful it would be to have to deal with the devastation of an electrical fire, after your home has already been through a flood.
- Don’t take more than your car can handle: Grabbing your phone, chargers, medications, wallet, and IDs is a good idea if you have to evacuate in the midst of a hurricane. However, you can easily get distracted end even end up weighing your car down more than you need to, if you start taking everything in your house. Unfortunately, sentimental possessions like photo albums and even major electronics like computers probably need to be left behind. Fortunately, you should already have your essentials together, assuming you follow our next step…
- Make sure your emergency supplies are already assembled: We’ve stressed the importance of procuring emergency supplies for hurricane season multiple times now. Once again, it is key to note that having a disaster kit makes evacuation much safer—especially if you just store one in your car ahead of time. This stash of supplies should include many of the basics you would keep in your house, such as a flashlight, first aid kit, tools, and sanitation products, in addition to as much water and non-perishable food items as you can fit in your car before overloading it. And remember—your car should be fully gassed up and ready to go long before you have to leave!
- Follow a pre-planned exit route: In both of our last 2 blogs, we talked about knowing which roads to take ahead of time, so you can get to your closest shelter/chosen place of safety easily. This is perhaps the most important part of a safe evacuation, as you do not want to get struck in a flooded area or take a route that ends up being blocked off. Listen to the proper authorities ahead of time to determine what is the safest way to get where you are going, and even if there is traffic, listen to the direction of any emergency workers on the road.
FP Property Restoration Helps You Return Home
At FP Property Restoration, we are focused on getting you back into your property with as little hassle as possible in the wake of hurricanes and other major weather events. Our Lakeland restoration pros provide expert storm damage services, and have even received national recognition four our responses in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Michael. Feel free to call 24/7 for emergency service, and check back in with our blog on the 27th for our next installment on hurricane preparedness.