Tropical winds of 74 miles per hour or more accompanied by torrential rain, thunder and lightning. It is only a sampling of what you could experience during a Category 1 hurricane. In a Category 5 hurricane, wind speeds can easily double to devastating gusts of nearly 160 miles per hour.
The leading cause of hurricane-related deaths — a storm surge. As water from the ocean pushes toward the shore from the force of the winds, storm surges can demolish buildings, undermine roads and erode coastlines.
Even if you’re not located directly on the coast, damage from a storm surge can occur more than 100 miles inland. The results can be catastrophic.
Global Rescue security operations personnel study and analyze disasters and crisis response every day. Their decades of experience give them unsurpassed expertise when it comes to preparing for a natural disaster and managing the aftermath.
Here are four tips for surviving a hurricane.
Know Where to Get Hurricane Information
In the United States, you can receive Wireless Emergency Alerts on your mobile phone from the National Weather Service. Several countries — including China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines — share monitoring responsibilities through the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Be sure to monitor local emergency systems throughout the storm.
Follow instructions issued by local officials. If an evacuation order is announced, follow it. Allow enough time to pack, dress in thick-soled, close-toed shoes and rugged lightweight clothing. Be sure to inform friends and family of your plans. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers before, during and after plans for many disasters and emergencies, including hurricanes.
Pack a small “go bag” that is easily carried, such as a small backpack, in case you are forced to leave quickly. Make sure it includes a change of clothes, toiletries, extra medications and important personal documents and identifications. Have cash in small denominations on hand. Be sure to put your go bag and a pair of shoes by the door in case you need to evacuate quickly.
Find Shelter and Stay Charged
If you do have to evacuate, make sure you know your evacuation routes and your destination. If your local airport closes before you evacuate, you’re not completely out of luck.
One option is to stay at the airport. If the airport will allow you to stay, there are usually emergency supplies like, food, water and a generator. In extreme cases, the airport will be the central location for many relief and rescue efforts following the storm.
A second option is to stay at a hotel. If you’re finding a hotel, select one that is away from the coast and situated on high ground. In the U.S., there are specific laws in place to protect travelers from price gouging in these situations.
If you are sheltering in place, be prepared. Stay away from windows, close the heavy drapes to protect from shattering glass and take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway.
Keep mobile devices charging and limit data usage, as mobile networks can become overwhelmed. You’ll also want to bookmark any city or country website to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
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