It is currently hurricane season! In fact, there are some hurricanes headed towards the states as I am writing this. Hurricanes can be scary for those who have to endure them, and also for family and friends watching from the outside. If you live in an area where hurricanes are frequent, you are going to want to be prepared for a hurricane!
Be Prepared for a Hurricane
When it comes to a hurricane, you can never be too prepared or too knowledgeable. Below, you will learn the following about hurricanes:
- What is a hurricane
- Parts of a hurricane
- Different Types of Hurricanes
- How dangerous is a hurricane
- How to Plan ahead
- Items to Have on Hand
- How to Bunker Down
- How to Evacuate
What is a Hurricane
According to NASA, a hurricane is a large, swirling storm. It can produce winds of 74 miles per hour or higher. To give you an example of how fast that is, it is faster than a cheetah. A cheetah is the fastest animal on land.
Hurricanes form over warm ocean waters. Many times they stay in the ocean, but they can strike on land. When it reaches the land, it pushes an enormous wall of ocean water ashore. This is called a storm surge. These storm surges and heavy rains cause flooding, damage to buildings, and damage to trees.
Parts of a Hurricane
In order for NASA to properly identify a hurricane, they must see all the parts of a hurricane. These parts include:
- The Eye: The eye of the storm is where the winds are light. The skies were partly cloudy and can be clear. The eye is basically a “hole” in the center of the storm.
- The Eyewall: The wildest part of the storm is the ring of thunderstorms around the eye. This is called the eyewall. It is the strongest part of the storm.
- The Rain bands: Those who don’t actually go through the hurricane but are feeling the effects are probably in the rain bands. Rain bands can stretch for hundreds of miles.
The great thing about hurricanes, however, is that once a hurricane forms, weather forecasters can predict the type of hurricane it is and its path. This can help you and others get ready for the storm.
Different Types of Hurricanes
Now you might think that a cheetah is fast, but trust me, winds of a hurricane can be much much faster. In fact, 74 miles per hour is actually a very mild hurricane. There are five different types of hurricanes. The types of hurricanes are based on wind speed.
Hurricane types are put into categories. Those who live in an area where hurricanes frequent will know if they are dealing with a category 1 or category 5 hurricane. Here’s the breakdown:
- A Category 1: Winds 74-95 mph and is faster than a cheetah.
- Category 2: Winds 96-110 mph which is as fast or faster than a baseball pitcher’s fastball
- A Category 3: Winds 111-129 mph and that is similar, or close, to the serving speed of many professional tennis players.
- Category 4: Winds of 130-156 mph which is faster than the world’s fastest rollercoaster.
- A Category 5: Winds more than 157 mph which is similar to the speed of a high-speed bullet train.
How Dangerous is a Hurricane
As you may know, any hurricane can be dangerous. There will be some damage no matter what. However, as the hurricane category goes up, so does the risk and danger.
- Category 1: At winds 74-95 mph, a category 1 hurricane is somewhat dangerous and will cause some damage.
- Category 2: With winds of 96-110 mph, the category 2 hurricane is extremely dangerous. Winds will cause extensive damage. There is a bigger risk of injury and death.
- Category 3: When winds get up to 111-129 mph means there is a high risk of injury or death. Nearly all mobile homes will be destroyed.
- Category 4: As winds get up to 130-156 mph there is even a higher chance of death to people and livestock. Most mobile homes will be destroyed. Even well-built homes will see the damage.
- Category 5: Let’s pray to our lucky stars that wind speeds do not get above 157 mph. Category 5 hurricanes cause catastrophic damage. Most homes will be completely destroyed. This is near-total destruction. Get out!
How to Plan Ahead to Be Prepared for a Hurricane
Whether you are facing a category 1 or a category 5 hurricane, it is important to plan ahead. You never know the extent of damage, how long you will be without power, or exactly what will happen. Here are a few ways you can plan ahead!
Look for Airborne Items
Check around your house and yard. Is there anything that can become airborne in a storm? Things like container plants, hanging baskets, tools, lawn furniture, toys, bicycles, and playhouses need to be secured. Make a list of all these things you will need to secure or bring inside.
Plan to Cover Your Windows
If you live on a barrier Island or near the coast, you may have to cover your windows with plywood to keep them protected. You will want to do this BEFORE you are under a storm watch. Here’s what you do.
- Get ⅝ inch exterior-grade plywood.
- Measure and cut pieces for each window.
- Mark which piece goes to which window.
- Pre-drill screw holes every 18 inches.
You will want to do this because wind, water, and sand can seep in causing damage. Also, windows could break causing even more damage.
Stock Up to Be Prepared for a Hurricane
Obviously, stocking up is going to have to be done well before a hurricane is insight. If you live in an area where you know hurricanes frequent, you will want to prepare long before you need to. Here is what you can start doing now!
- Store 4-gallons of water per person per day.
- Read and stock up on Survival Food Storage.
- Put extra clothing in water safe containers.
- Store extra cash in waterproof containers.
- Baby food
If you know of other things you can’t live without, make sure you have them in an easy to access place.
Make an Important Documents Binder
What happens to paper when it gets wet? Having a binder that can be kept safe from disaster and can easily be grabbed is an essential part of planning for a hurricane. You don’t want to be without your homeowner’s insurance after a hurricane has destroyed your home. Check out this Free Emergency Binder Kit to make sure you have all your important documents at hand.
Items to Have on Hand
In addition to stocking up on things, it is important to know what you are going to need to have on hand in the event of a hurricane. You will want these items stored in a safe place and easy to access. Here is a list of hurricane items you must have:
- Cooking devices
- N-95 masks
- Work gloves
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer/soap
- Cleaning supplies
- Hygiene supplies
- First Aid Kit
- Solar phone charger
- Menstrual supplies
- Flashlights for everyone
How to Bunker Down
If you plan on staying through the storm and bunkering down, you know a hurricane is on the way. Hopefully, you have already planned ahead, stock up on food and water, and have the necessary hurricane items. Here is what you need to be prepared for a hurricane if you are planning to bunker down:
- Make sure your stored water is not older than 6-months. If it is, replace it. Prepare for at least 3-days.
- Update contact information. Get updated phone numbers, addresses, and meeting locations.
- Prepare a disaster plan. Talk to all your family members. Make sure they know where to go and what to do if you get separated.
- Prepare your car. Make sure you have a tire repair kit, small shovel, and road maps in your car. Fill your gas tank prior to the storm.
- Harvest your crops. The strong winds of a hurricane will destroy your garden. Go ahead and harvest all your vegetables that are ripe or close to ripe.
- Start securing items. Bring unsecured items inside or start tying them down. Use your list.
- Start boarding your windows. Now is the time to get that plywood up.
- Fill prescriptions. If you take medication, you are going to want to get all your prescriptions filled before the storm.
- Locate all your hurricane items. Make sure you know where your flashlights, rope, sanitary supplies, food supplies, and other items are. If necessary put them up high.
- Take out cash. You may have some cash stored, but make sure you take what you need out of your bank accounts.
How to Evacuate
If there is a hurricane heading your way that is stronger than a category 2, you may want to evacuate. This is necessary if you live in a mobile home as most will not withstand a hurricane. If you are planning to get the heck out of dodge, here’s what you need to do:
- Leave early. You want to leave while you still have daylight and before the big rush starts.
- Turn off all your water.
- Keep your freezers and refrigerators on.
- Tell someone you are leaving. You want them to know how you are traveling, where you are going, and who is with you.
- If you have pets you can’t take, put them on the highest level of your home.
- Bring water and nonperishable food. If driving, have enough for the long haul.
- Grab your binder with all your important documents.
Whether you plan to bunker down or get out of Dodge, a hurricane can be scary. However, luck favors the prepared, so make sure you know how to be prepared for a hurricane.
If you have any questions, concerns, or advice about hurricanes, please share them in the comments below! May God bless this world, Linda