Top 10 Tips – Hurricane Preparedness
Anyone who loves the beach knows that hurricanes can cause serious damage to people, property, and beaches themselves through high surf, wind, and erosion.
My family rented a house in Kauai in 1995 where there was a picture of a grand piano sitting on a concrete slab in the middle of nowhere. I asked about it and was told the picture showed all that was left of the house after Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai in 1992. I was shocked because the house was in a protected mountain valley far from the shore.
The moral of the story is that hurricanes pack a powerful force and can cause extensive damage even if you aren’t directly on the beach. What can you do if you find yourself in the path of a hurricane whether as a homeowner or on vacation?
Before the Hurricane
1. Check the radio, TV, or Internet regularly for up-to-date information.
2. If you are told to evacuate, do it! Check evacuation routes and fill your gas tank before you leave.
3. If you’re going to ride out the storm, have a hurricane survival kit available. See http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/supply_kit.shtml for items to include in your kit.
4. If you have pets, make sure you have a place to take them in case of evacuation. Don’t leave your pets at home. Keep in mind, public shelters and many hotels will not allow pets.
During the Hurricane
5. Stay indoors away from doors and windows. If possible, stay in an interior room or hallway without doors or windows on the lowest level of the building unless you’re in a flood zone. Then stay in the lowest dry level.
6. Close all exterior and interior doors.
7. Keep curtains and blinds closed to protect against flying glass.
8. Listen to your battery powered NOAA weather radio for up-to-date information.
9. Shut off any propane tanks.
10. Don’t use electrical appliances due to risk of electrocution. Turn off electricity at the main breaker if flooding threatens.
Although a hurricane isn’t going to be your best beach experience, it is a fact of life. The good news is that they happen infrequently and rarely hit the same place on a regular basis. Follow these tips to stay safe and make the best of a bad situation so you can continue to enjoy the beach in the future.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Photo courtesy of http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33650069/?q=National%20Hurricane%20Center