First of all, know they're coming, so be prepared for that. In this ever changing climate, they're often accompanied by floods as well. Both will become stronger in time, so make sure to stay safe out there. Here are a few pointers!
- Stay informed!
When you have a TV, you're probably getting more information than you bargained for. Know that radios have weather forecasts as well. During many storms, you may experience power outages, so make sure you have battery operated radios.
- Have a plan
1) Pumps that grant you water power use electricity too, so have enough water for a week stored for drinking and sanitation.
2) Make sure you have enough food to last a while, and a way to prepare that. A stove powered by a gas bottle can last a nice while!
3) Stash a few jerrycans of fuel in your garage, should you have to evacuate, there will always be enough to get you going.
- Evacuation preparedness
1) Have laminated sheets (waterproof) of contact information of your relatives including their addresses, phone numbers and e-mail. That way, you can contact them if you have evacuated.
2) Leave a message on your voicemail saying you evacuated. That way, if nobody can reach you, they know you are not there. Also, they can leave you a message. Most voicemail services allow you to listen to messages even if you're not at home.
3) Have medication prepared in waterproof bags. (Each member of the family has to have their own bag)
4) Make sure to have waterproof maps of the area and/or country. Your navigation device might not be able to help you!
5) Store a inflatable boat in your house. Should you get cut off by a flood, you can get away.
6) Have a BOB for every family member
- Keeping the house safe
1) Have enough sheets of wood to board up the windows and enough nails or screws to keep them in place.
2) Whether you stay in or leave, a stack of sandbags can help to keep your house dry inside.
3) As soon as the storm hits and thunder is involved, cut off all power by switching off the breakers and use battery operated torches
4) Have fire extinguishers ready, the fire department won't be there for your for a while!
Closing shutters to protect your windows is NOT enough unless you screw them in place. Know that debris are flying, which can be anything from roof tiles to cars and cows. There have been very serious tests with 2 by 4 beams that didn't even notice a glass pane or thin piece of plywood that was nailed in front of a window, so make sure you get strong, durable wood. Of course you do not want to stay near the windows when the storm hits, you go to your storm shelter!!!
If you do not own a generator to provide you with power, have enough candles or oil lamps for light. Generators are worth their weight in gold once you're left without power though, so well worth the investment.
Keep the radio on while the storm approaches or gets in the area. That way you can hear what's going on outside. Even if you plan to bug in, it's possible the evacuation plans for the area can get in effect, meaning you better pack up and go.
Know that the 5 P's are very important here. Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!!!