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Part 1: How to survive a hurricane
Ever since Hurricane Isaac was rumored to hit the US, a lot of “How to survive Hurricane Isaac” articole starting flooding the Internet (pun totally intended!). And I sincerely salute this initiative, as it could save millions of lives… if the articles were perfectly correct and not misleading, of course.
Now, I’m not saying ALL the information I’ve read in the past few days is wrong. I’ve read many useful survival strategies (some that I didn’t know myself), but I’ve noticed some rookie mistakes, too, and that worried me a bit.
I mean, if you really want to help someone survive a disaster, at least make sure you’re actually helping them and not making matters worse. Especially since people are most prone to deadly mistakes when they panic. And who doesn’t panic when everything’s on the line (your family, your friends, your pets, your home)?
In this kind of extreme situations, one tiny mistake is enough to crash all your survival plans (if you have them in the first place) and turn you into a living bait. So, at the risk of repeating myself, let me remind you of the Golden Rule of survival:
Always Be Informed!
And I’d also add: make sure the information you read is correct.
Now let’s get to some tips on hurricane survival. More exactly, to the mistakes you need to avoid if you want to get out safe and sound.
Deadly Mistake #1: I heard the warning, but I’m going to stick around till it the weather starts acting out.
This one is the first and most common mistake. People tend to take things less seriously than they should and not realize how much they put at stake for not fleeing the house when they should.
The moment you hear a hurricane warning, just pack up your stuff or take your ready-made bug-out bags and get out of town! Do not endanger yourself and your kids just because “the weather seems lovely”. In two hours’ time, the storm can devastate your house and you won’t even know what hit you. We’re talking about nature here and we’ve got enough proof of its force with Hurricane Katrina, so let’s not repeat that mistake again!
Remember: better safe than sorry.
Deadly Mistake #2: I’ve got time to prepare later, it’s not like it’s going to strike today, right?
Here’s something I’ve seen way too many times: you hear the warning on tv, THEN you go prepare. That’s a huge no-no, because that’s when everyone else starts preparing, too. This means supermarkets will be cramped with people hurrying to buy food and water. And the best window protections will be already long gone when you get to the store.
You need to be one step ahead everyone else and already be prepared for any sort of disaster. All you need is a 72-hour bug-out for you and your family members, a 7-day stockpile, a small generator (usually, the grid breaks down during hurricanes) and strong window protections. If you plan ahead, you won’t have to break your bank account or fight for the last loaf of bread. Be smart and get ready the right way!
Deadly mistake #3: I’ll just tape the windows to make sure they won’t break
This is like saying a wooly hat will protect you in case of a car crash. If you want your windows to be 100% secure, get some rock-solid shutters. Just think about how much you risk if your windows crash: your whole home turns into a whirl that eats everything up. Including you and your loved ones.
And don’t just take my word for it. Dailypress.com warned people about this silly habit of taping windows to make them hurricane proof. Apparently, it’s a common “protection measure”.
Deadly mistake #4: The weather’s getting really bad, I’ll drive out of town before it’s too late.
You’ve got two options here: you either flee your town right after you hear the warning, or you lock yourself in the house and make the last preparations for the hurricane. There is no other alternative. Especially not getting in your car and driving away when you’ve got a hurricane behind you. These things will hit you like nothing you could possibly imagine! If you’re unlucky enough to get right in the middle of things, you’re as good as dead.
So if you didn’t leave when you were advised to do so, then take this option off this list until the hurricane’s all gone and the roads are clear again.
Deadly mistake #5: It’s just going to come and go, like any other hurricane. Tomorrow it will probably be gone already.
Sure, that might be true, but you may still be stuck with torrential rain, floods, closed roads, empty supermarkets and (maybe) with some damage to your house.
So my ultimate advice is: never underestimate natural disasters such as hurricanes. Even if it’s not as destructive as first estimated (see Hurricane Isaac), it can still make a lot of damage. And you need to be prepared for everything, even the aftermath of a disaster.
So make sure you’ve got enough food, water, meds and power for as week or so. Just in case.
These are the most common mistakes people make when dealing with a hurricane. Next time, we’ll cover another disaster that frequently happens in the US: flood. So stay tuned and stay safe!
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