What should you never do during a hurricane?

Let’s talk straight—when a hurricane is barrelling down on you, the local authorities aren’t issuing evacuation orders just to practice their megaphone skills. These orders are about your safety, ensuring you’re not playing a game of chicken with Mother Nature’s wrath. So let’s be crystal clear: staying put is not a badge of courage; it’s a gamble with incredibly high stakes.

Evacuation orders are given based on the trajectory and the severity of the storm. Ignoring these could trap you in severe flooding, cut you off from emergency services, or worse, put you in a life-threatening situation. By staying, you’re not only endangering your own life but also the lives of the first responders who might have to come to your rescue in perilous conditions.

When you hear that an evacuation order has been issued, your best move is to grab your pre-packed emergency bag—because, of course, you’ve got one prepared—and head to the designated safe zone. Don’t dally! The earlier you evacuate, the less likely you are to encounter gridlocked traffic, flooded roads, or other hazards that could turn your escape route into a nightmare.

If you need assistance to evacuate, don’t hesitate to reach out to local emergency services or community groups in advance. They’re there to help, but they can only do so if they know you need it. Remember, a well-executed evacuation plan is a keystone of hurricane survival. Don’t stick around waiting for an engraved invitation to leave—when it’s time to go, just go!

And a pro tip: always keep your gas tank at least half full during hurricane season, and know your routes out of town. When the order comes, you’ll be ready to hit the road with confidence, knowing you’ve taken the proactive steps to ensure you and your loved calm the storm from the safety of higher ground.

Leave windows unprotected

Picture this: furious winds rattling your windowpanes like a scene from a suspense thriller—except this isn’t Hollywood; it’s your living room, and those aren’t special effects. Unprotected windows are weak spots during a hurricane, and if they blow in, your home becomes a wind tunnel where dangers multiply exponentially. Let’s avoid turning your abode into an extreme wind test chamber, shall we?

Here’s a slice of wisdom: board up or shutter your windows well before the hurricane hits. You might be thinking, “But it takes the aesthetic appeal of my house down a notch.” Look, when a hurricane is knocking at your doorstep, the last thing you should be worrying about is curb appeal. Instead, think of plywood and storm shutters as the unspoken heroes that can keep you, and your house, from an awful performance in “The Flying Debris Tango”.

Lack of preparation could lead to broken glass, which invites not just wind but rain, debris, and possibly even critters seeking shelter from the storm into your home. And trust me, the last thing you need is a squirrel panicking in your living room when there’s a Category 4 dance going on outside.

So don’t half-bake the job—make sure you’re using at least 5/8 inch marine plywood, cut to fit and secure it properly over the windows. No skimping with duct tape crosses on the windows, either. That’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot in boiling water. It’s pretty much an urban myth; it won’t prevent windows from breaking.

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Investing in impact-resistant windows or permanent storm shutters might cost a bit more, but they’re worth their weight in gold during hurricane season—offering peace of mind and built-to-last protection. Think of them as the superheroes of the storm, clad not in capes but in durable, resilient materials.

Remember we’re aiming for a fortress, not a facade. A proper fortress keeps its guards (windows, in this case) fortified. When the winds are howling and the rain is thrashing, you’ll be glad you took the time to protect your windows—it’s your very own defense against the hurricane huffing and puffing to blow your house down.

Remember: boarding up isn’t just for pirates anymore. So hoist those boards, set the shutters, and prepare to weather the storm with the confidence of someone who’s got their windows—and their belongings—fully armored against nature’s fury.

Neglect to prepare an emergency kit

Now, let’s not skirt around a critical prep step that too many folks overlook—your emergency kit. Building an emergency kit is like packing for the worst vacation ever, but trust me, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you did when the hurricane’s knocking. Neglecting to prepare one is like heading into battle without armor—not a bright idea.

Consider this: power’s out, roads flooded, and stores are closed. In a situation like this, your emergency kit is your lifeline. So what’s in this survival treasure chest? First, water – and not just a dainty sip, but a gallon per person per day, keeping you hydrated for at least three to seven days. Next, food—but not just any grub; we’re talking non-perishable items. Pack those cans of beans, granola bars, and other munchies that don’t require refrigeration or cooking. And don’t forget the manual can opener; electric ones are as useful as a bicycle is to a fish when the electricity’s down.

A little tip: While you’re at it, toss some comfort food in there too. A chocolate bar or your preferred treat can be a game-changer when morale is as low as the storm pressure. But remember, this isn’t the time to indulge in a full-blown feast; rationing is the name of the game.

Beyond sustenance, you’ll need a flashlight for each family member—because when the lights go out, those little beams of hope are invaluable. Just don’t forget the extra batteries; a flashlight without batteries is like a car without gas. And speaking of cars, secure a car charger for your mobile devices. Communication is key in an emergency, and a dead phone is nothing more than a pricey paperweight.

Pro tip: Test run your gear before the storm is on your doorstep. Discovering your flashlight is a dud during a blackout is the opposite of helpful.

But wait, there’s more! You’ll want a first-aid kit because, honestly, hurricanes don’t care about scraped knees or worse. Stock that bad boy up with bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and prescription meds. Add some personal hygiene items to the mix—think wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and trash bags—because basic hygiene doesn’t take a vacation during disasters.

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Important paperwork should make the cut, too. Keep those insurance documents, identification records, and bank account numbers sealed and dry in a waterproof container. You might need quick access to these to prove you are who you say you are or to start recovery processes without unnecessary delays once the storm has passed.

One last thing—don’t overlook special needs. If you’ve got a tiny tot in tow, make sure diapers, formula, and baby food are on your checklist. For those with furry family members, pack enough pet food and extra water. And for anyone with specific medical requirements, have an ample supply of those essentials on hand.

In summation, your emergency kit should be your best friend when a hurricane hits. Raiding it for a snack or borrowing batteries for the remote is a no-go. Keep your kit accessible, regularly check its contents, and update it as needed. When the sky darkens and the winds rage, you’ll take comfort in knowing you’ve got everything you need to ride out the storm.

Wander outside during the storm

All right, let’s picture this: You’re hunkered down, the hurricane is in full tantrum mode outside, and you’re getting a serious case of cabin fever. The urge to step outside ‘just for a peek’ hits you. Hold it right there! The storm is not a spectacle; it’s a danger zone, and you need to stay put.

Wandering outside during the hurricane can be downright deadly. Flying debris—think tree limbs, roofing materials, billboards—becomes lethal projectiles. Even if you fancy yourself a sprinter, debris travels faster and doesn’t care about finishing lines—only about the impact. And let’s not kid ourselves; you’re no match for hurricane-speed missiles.

It’s not just about the wind, either. There’s a deceptive element during hurricanes called the ‘eye’, which might give the impression that Mother Nature is giving you a break. She’s not! This is just the calm before the next round of fury. Stay indoors, or you might get caught in the vicious resurgence of the storm.

Here are a few pointers to keep you safe and sane:

  • Steer clear of windows and doors: Find the innermost part of your house, like a bathroom or closet—somewhere without windows—and make it your safe haven. Set up camp with your emergency kit, some distractions, and snacks.
  • Keep your curiosity in check: Ignore the urge to open doors or windows to take a look. If you’re really itching to know what’s happening, rely on a battery-powered radio or a safely charged smartphone for updates.
  • Maintain Indoor Entertainment: Keep your mind occupied with board games, books, or any other non-electrical entertainment. It’s a perfect time to have a hurricane party, as in playing Monopoly with your fam, not dancing in the rain.

Remember, your home is your castle, and during a hurricane, the walls of that castle shouldn’t be breached. So keep the drawbridge up and stay indoors. Think of it as an involuntary “staycation”—albeit one with howling winds and hammering rain.

A solid rule of thumb: If you’re not looking to be cast in the next flying acrobat show, then don’t step outside during a hurricane. The price of admission is way too high.

The bottom line: Keep yourself and your family inside until local authorities have given the all-clear. The risks of venturing out are too great, and patience in this case is more than a virtue; it’s a lifesaver. Once the hurricane passes and the authorities say it’s safe, that’s when you can walk out your door and assess—not a moment sooner.

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So there you have it. Avoid transforming a risky situation into a tragic one. Stay indoors, stay safe, and let the storm rage on without you as a participant. The storm will pass, but the decisions you make during it can have lasting effects. Make the smart choice—hunker down, huddle up, and hold tight until it’s truly over.

Use candles for lighting

Now, amid the chaos of a hurling hurricane, temptation might whisper to light those delightful scented candles you’ve stockpiled for a cozy night in. Resist that siren call; using candles for lighting is begging for a fire hazard to join the hurricane party. Think about it: high winds, rattling structures, potentially compromised windows and—here’s a bright idea—let’s bring an open flame into the mix!

Even if you place them in what you believe is a safe spot, the unexpected is the bread and butter of hurricanes. A gust of wind could knock over a candle, or debris might find its way into your home and onto the flame. In the blink of an eye, you could be facing a fiery disaster within the larger natural disaster. And to make matters worse, emergency services are likely to be stretched thin responding to the hurricane, which means help could be delayed if your candlelight vigil turns into an accidental inferno.

Let’s lay down a game plan for safer alternatives, shall far? Flashlights and battery-powered lanterns are your best friends when darkness looms. They won’t set your curtains ablaze or add a smoky haze to your already stressful situation. Plus, they’re portable and, in the case of flashlights, directional—which means you can focus light where you need it most without playing “will it or won’t it?” with a candlestick.

Remember: A flashlight has never looked better than in the middle of a dark, storm-ravaged night. It’s a beacon of modern convenience, a symbol of preparedness, and above all, a critical tool that keeps you safe.

For those high-tech aficionados out there, LED flashlights and lanterns have longer battery life and can provide a bright, steady light source for a more extended period than their older incandescent cousins. Keep a stash of extra batteries handy, because a flashlight without power is as helpful as those candles you wisely decided not to light.

And, to keep those fingers from fidgeting toward the matchbox, consider glow sticks as an additional light source. They’re not just for raves and Halloween—these luminous wonders can provide a soft, safe glow that’s perfect for creating a calming atmosphere when the world outside is anything but calm. Plus, they can be a hit with the kiddos, turning a scary situation into an impromptu glowing adventure.

Bottom line: Candles may have their time and place, but a hurricane is neither the time nor the place for them. Steer clear of the wax and wick during the storm, and keep your hurricane experience flame-free. Safeguard your sanctuary by embracing flameless alternatives to illuminate those dark hours. Your home, belongings, and possibly even your life depend on making the right call—that call is a resounding “no” to candles.

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