From Personal Experience:
I have had the opportunity of experiencing many hurricanes from growing up in Miami. My first one was Hurricane Andrew, and I learned a lot over the years on how to ride out a hurricane safely. From my own experience and from the professional tips of local news stations here are some helpful tips for dealing with a hurricane in Florida.
Board up your windows with shutters or pre-cut plywood days in advance before the storm arrives. Try not to leave it for the same day as this can be very time consuming, unless you have invested wisely in accordion shutters. Inspect the outside surrounding of your home.Bring in any loose items, such as garbage cans and lawn furniture, flower pots and children’s toys. Look for any debris in the yard that can act as a projectile during high winds. Check your storage sheds to make sure they are firmly attached and in sound structural condition. Trim any weak tree branches that are positioned near any windows of your home, which could be broken off by high winds and cause property damage. Inspect your roof and overhang to look for signs of wear or damage. Have your roof inspected to make sure the roof sheathing is well-connected. I would recommended to do at the beginning of the hurricane season. Prepare and test your generator a few days before a storm strikes. And make sure that you have plenty of gasoline in case you need to use the generator after the hurricane passes. Some people recommend filling a clean bathtub with clean water in case the water goes out for days. But I would not recommend this if you have small children.
Simple but good tips:
Take pictures of everything inside your home. Also take detailed pictures of the outside of your home, even your roof if possible. Write down important phone number in a notepad in case your cell phone gets damaged. Get extra cash handing in case you need to go shopping once the storm has passed. Store important documents in waterproof containers or zip block bags. Keep a luggage with clean clothes in case you need to leave your home in a hurry. Let your family or friends know what you plan on doing during and after the storm passes.Keep in touch with your next door neighbors specially if they are elderly. If you have children buy fun board games to keep them distracted. Bring out old family albums, this helps keep everyone entertained during the hurricane. Find out where is the nearest police station or fire station in case of an emergency. Be informed of what shelters are available in your area in case your home gets damaged. Keep empty buckets in case you get leaks inside your home. And keep clean towels in handy in case you need to dry things
One of the most important rules to keep in mind before, during or after a hurricane is to NOT panic. People tend to be at greater risk when you enter a panic mode because you are not thinking clearly. If you plan ahead, you will limit your stress level and those around you.
Once the hurricane begins, the eye of the storm can become one of the most dangerous part of the storm because it will become calm all of sudden. It might even look like a nice sunny day outside. And people feel that it’s safe to go and explore or inspect the outside of the home. This is extremely dangerous because the hurricane conditions will change in the split of a second. And flying debris can come out of nowhere. Try to stay indoors until the authorities say the the storm has passed and that it’s safe to venture out.
Even when the storm passes, after the storm moves away you are not out of the path of danger. Many lives are lost after a storm has moved away because live power lines can be hiding in mercky waters among other hidden dangers. Place close attention to your local authorities and news stations.
Keep a list of important phone numbers written in a note book where you can easily find it. For example the direct phone number to the fire department closest to your home, the poison control center, the local electric company in case an electricity transformer explodes, the phone number to the nearest police station in case you need special assistance. And even the phone number to the hurricane center in case you would like stay informed of the exact location of the storm. The most important thing is not to call 911 with non-life threatening calls. One of the biggest problems that I
remember from Hurricane Andrew was that people kept calling 911 for non-emergency calls. And it made it difficult for the people that really needed emergency assistance to make it through the busy operators. So try not to call 911 unless you feel that your life is in grave danger.
Plus also keep in mind that it doesn’t matter where in the world you find yourself living, every state and every country has their own natural disasters such as: Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Volcanos, Tornados, Wild Fires, Snow Storms, Floods, Sand Storms, and so on. So think of from a positive view in that at least with a hurricane you have plenty of days to plan ahead. And try to be nice to others while shopping for supplies.
Watch the news stations if you still have power during the hurricane but try not to become obsessed with the trajectory of the storm. Keep your news intake to a limit, over exposure may cause unnecessary anxiety to you and those around you. If you have small children, you can pretend that you are going camping inside your own home. Make it look like an adventure, so that your children don't feel scared or nervous.
Please note that I am not pretending to be a Hurricane expert, these tips are only based on my own personal experience in dealing with numerous hurricanes in all my wonderful years of living in Florida. Remember not to panic and if this is your encounter with a hurricane try to enjoy the experience. Try to immerse your self in examining nature’s strength and fury “from inside your home”. And like what people always say during these type of events "prepare for the worst and pray for the best". Below is a simple but helpful supply list on preparing your home for a hurricane.
Batteries in various sizes
Flashlights, one for each room if possible.
Candles just in case your batteries run out
Battery operated radio/tv
First aid kit, make sure that the items are not expired
Battery powered clock
Manual Can opener
Blankets & pillows
Fun snacks, chips, cookies, non-perishable foods
Water bottled water 1 galloon per person per day
Bottle juice or even gatorade
2 coolers filled with ice in case the power goes out
Canned foods like tuna kits, Vienna sausages, beef jerky, be creative
Dry pet food for at least one week
Medicine for more than one week
Feminine hygiene items
Baby wipes are great for everything