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10 Easy Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane - Plus Great Hurricane Photos

Updated on March 11, 2016

During the summer of 2011 I had found myself without power, several times. I was in the dark (dead flashlights and no candles) and had a refridgerator full of spoiling food. Granted, this had been a crazy year for weather in the northeast. The winter snow was relentless, and I witnessed my first tornado right here in Springfield, MA. My pointed being, this all happened before hurricane season. If you don't want to end up like me, follow these 10 steps in preparing for a hurricane.

Please, if your location is evacuated or if you think it is too dangerous to stay, do not rough it out and risk your life, or the lives of your family members. No one likes a stubborn tough guy, or girl. Listen to the warnings and GET OUT. Depending on how much time you have, check as many thing off on the list below as you can, and bail. This is how lives are saved.

Winds knock a walker of his feet
Winds knock a walker of his feet

1. Check your food and water supply - Don't go out and buy things to fill your fridge with though. Bottled water and dry packaged non-perishable foods are the best in case your power goes out, and your food spoils. You do not want to be stuck in a storm, in the dark, with nothing to eat or drink.

2. Make as much ice as possible - If in the event that the power goes out for an extended period of time, make sure that you have made as much ice as possible in order to keep your food cool and frozen. If the power does go out, I usually place all perishable foods in the freezer to make them last longer. Having a large cooler handy could also be helpful.

3. Check your flashlights - Make sure they all work, and if they don't, go stock up on batteries. Also, gather any candles, matches, and lighters that you have.Also, A BATTERY POWERED RADIO could end up saving your life in the event of a flash flood.

4. Make sure that your cellphone is charged - Whenever there is a threat of a power outage I always make sure that my phone is charged in case I need to place an emergency phone call. Have a car charger handy as well. TIP - Even if the power goes out, land lines will still sometimes work. Phone lines run on their own electricity, as long as they are not cordless phones. You can check this beforehand by unplugging the electricity to you phone and testing it out.

Katrina's Eyewall
Katrina's Eyewall

5. Purchase a power inverter or generator - Not needed, but both great to have. Generators are expensive though, you can get a used one for 300 to 400 dollars through craigslist. Power inverters are much cheaper at 20 - 25 dollars, and most of them plug into the lighter socket of a car. That way, if your car is running, you can run a cord from the inverter to your fridge or even a lamp. Also, inverters are avail in many places, online, camp stores, or in places like walmart.

6. Reinforce your entryways - High gusts of wind and floating debris can easily break windows, leaving you with a face full of glass and soaking wet. Make sure you reinforce doors, windows, garage doors, skylights, and fireplace flues. At least close the curtains or blinds, but if you can, reinforce the windows with plywood. Its cheap and easy to cut. And totally worth it.

7. Have cash on hand - Debit cards are absolutely useless when there isn't any power. ATMs don't work, and you won't be able to buy anything at the store. I found this out the hard way once. So make a trip to the ATM before the storm. Make purchases beforehand as well, since most businesses will be closed.

8. Have your stuff ready to go - If for whatever reason you need to leave in a hurry, make sure you're prepared. Place all your important things in or around one bag. Wallet, cash, cell phone and charger, car keys, important documents and phone numbers,MEDICATIONS, first aid kit, a roadmap to your destination, etc. Keep these sealed in a leak proof bag or at least a ziplock. Make sure you know where you're headed, take you pets with you, and always make sure your car gassed up and ready to go if need be.

9. Unplug and move electronics - With hurricanes and heavy rains comes lighting and flooding. Power surges can occur which can damage electronics such as computers (and cause data loss) and TVs. Make sure these are unplugged, and if possible, moved to the highest point in your house in case of flooding. You can also move other items that can get damaged in water, important papers, pictures, or furniture. You can never be too prepared.

10. Prepare your family - Make sure each family member is aware of how dangerous a hurricane can be. If in the event your family needs to evacuate, you don't want anyone left behind or uninformed. Keep cell phones on and stay home with your family.


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    • profile image

      sharika awine 23 months ago

      hurricane don't come back

    • ArockDaNinja profile image

      ArockDaNinja 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      The first photo is actually a hurricane. The second is supposedly a hurricane front of sorts. However, not all information on the internet is accurate and it can be difficult to find the right picture. It's a cool picture though, right?

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Good advice. I was caught in Hurricane Irene and that hub is pending being written. The first photos confused me b/c they were tornadoes, not hurricanes until I scrolled down. The state I grew up in-Michigan, has tornadoes all the time. Nice job.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 6 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      good hub, actually great Hub

      I'm currently trying to get people to understand that the poles are shifting at a rate of 40 miles a year (which officials claim is gradual), I don't consider 40 miles a year gradual.

      That much of the erratic whether is due to this shift and that some easy steps like being prepared will save lives.

      Pakistan is experiencing the worst of it so far, of course officials are claiming the flooding is due to heavy rains, which is partly true but also so is disinformation.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. I do not like in a hurricane area, but most of these tips are important for any natural disaster.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnuggets nomination. These are great tips, not only for hurricanes, but for any type of emergency. Thanks for writing. Some of these never occurred to me.


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      It is practical and wise to know how to prepare for natural disasters.

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! This way to read and vote for the Hubnuggets:

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I was going to say the same as JamaGenee. These are the things we do for all natural disasters. I have been through tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes with the same list. Don't forget a blanket also. If you end up wet, a wool blanket will keep you warm even if it is wet. Miracle of wool.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Your tips are the same as we use in the Midwest in tornado season. Even if we don't happen to be in the path of a twister, we might be without power for a day or two.

      Glad you mentioned non-cordless landline phones. Most people these days don't realize they'll work when a cordless won't, and can be used to keep in touch with friends and family, not just for emergency calls.

      I routinely half-fill empty 2-liter bottles with water and place them in the freezer not only toward a powerless day or two, but because a full freezer keeps the electric bill down.

      NOW, not when disaster is looming, would be a good time to scan irreplaceable family photos and transfer to easily-transportable disks or thumb drives, or upload them to your email server if you use a web-based email program like Gmail. ;D

    • blairtracy profile image

      blairtracy 6 years ago from Canada

      Very informative!

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 6 years ago from Virginia

      Excellent tips - especially #7 and #9 - easy to forget. My family is preparing for Irene now. All deck furniture has been removed and everything in the yard that could be picked up has been put away. Radio w/batteries is ready and bathtub and containers of water should we need them. We went 9 days without power/water 8years ago with Isabelle. Hoping Irene will pass quickly.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Very useful tips. All the tips you gave are really essential for surviving a natural disaster. Many of us don't prepare and end up stranded without food, water or even dry clothing, trust me I know of a lot of people who have really suffered because they failed to prepare.

    • rainbowmom profile image

      rainbowmom 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great list....

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      I'm so glad I don't live near Hurricane land, those storms are so intense, really incredible pics. Thanks for sharing! You have provided excellent tips for those in need.