- from Hurricanes
Over the years, the number of people killed by hurricanes has dropped. This is largely due to the federal government’s early warning system.
People now take these storms seriously. While fewer people are killed, the cost of hurricane damage has risen. Why is that? Because the number of people living along the 2,000-mile coastal stretch from Texas to Virginia has almost doubled since the 1930s.
Coastal States Most Often Hit by Hurricanes
◀ Plan Ahead
If a hurricane warning is given, cover large glass windows and doors. If the call comes to evacuate, you should leave immediately by car, if you can. Plan ahead on a place to meet if family members are separated. For example, children may be evacuated from school to one shelter, but parents may go from work to another. Know where your nearest official shelter is. Make a plan for your pets, because they are not allowed in shelters.
Disaster Supply Kit
If a hurricane strikes your community tomorrow, will you be ready? What if the electricity goes off? What if the water is not safe to drink or for cooking? Here are some things the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends families keep on hand for a disaster emergency kit. ▶
◀ Hurricane Watch
Listen to the radio or television for weather reports. Make sure your disaster kit is ready and your radio has batteries. Fill up the gas tank of your car in case you have to leave your home.
Bring in outdoor furniture, toys, and anything that might blow away. Prepare for high winds by covering windows and other large glass areas with boards. Put valuable papers and photos in waterproof containers. Listen to radio or TV for weather alerts. ▶
If the police ask everyone to evacuate, leave early. If you are going to a shelter, take blankets or sleeping bags, flashlights, and any special foods or medicines you need. Lock windows and doors and turn off gas, water, and electricity. Carry your disaster kit and important papers.
If you can’t get out in time, stay calm and stay indoors, or you could be hit by flying debris. Unplug small electrical appliances and turn off the gas supply. Fill containers with drinking water, and fill bathtubs with water for washing. Go to the center of the house, and stay away from doors and windows. Don’t go out during the calm that happens as the eye of the hurricane passes. As soon as the eye moves on, fierce winds rush back.
▲ After the Hurricane
The danger is not over until cleanup is finished. For example, touching fallen power lines could kill a person. Broken glass should be swept up. Water may not be drinkable until it has been purified. Gas lines may need to be repaired so no fires break out. The danger is not really over until the cleanup is finished.