Hurricane season lasts from May through November and comes around every year. Some years have bigger and worse storms than others. If you educate yourself in what to do in the event of a hurricane you will be far better prepared for it.
A hurricane is more than just an incredibly windy day. For instance, the ocean’s storm surge may extend beyond the immediate coastal areas. Hurricanes also bring tornadoes, heavy rains, and flooding to inland regions. It’s important to prepare for this ahead of time.
Before the Storm
If you live along the coast or are visiting, plan an evacuation route. When you check into your vacation rental be sure to ask about procedures in case of a hurricane. Stay tuned to a local television and radio station for emergency evacuation information. Know the safe inland routes to escape the path of the storm.
During the Storm
Stay tuned into your local television and radio stations for emergency information. Keep a battery-operated, solar-powered or hand-crank-operated radio or television for use during power outages. Stay inside a well-constructed building and away from windows and doors, even if they are covered. Go to an interior first-floor room, closet, or under the stairs and stay alert.
Tornadoes are often spawned during hurricanes. If the “eye” of the storm passes over your area, be aware that severe conditions will return with winds from the other direction in a very short time. Many say when the hurricane reaches you it will sound like a large train. When that noise stops do not go outdoors. Wait until it comes again and fully passes over you.
Limit any non-emergency phone calls. Keep calls brief to minimize network congestion. Wait at least 10 seconds before redialing a call. For non-emergencies, try texting instead. Once the storm passes, be patient. You will most likely not be able to return home right away.
Emergency shelters will be opened if a hurricane approaches South Carolina. Before heading to a public shelter, first consider staying with family and friends or in a hotel out of the evacuated area. If those options are unavailable, the American Red Cross will provide a safe place to stay when you have no other place to go. Cots and blankets will only be provided in the public shelter after hurricane conditions subside. Although food may be provided, specialty items for infants and individuals on restricted diets may not be available.
During a major disaster, there will be a lot of information available online at various sites. Some information will be accurate while other sources can be misleading. Check your local town or county’s website or verified social media channels to find trustworthy resources such as advisories on shelters, routes, detours and road closures, ways to return home and storm clean-up information.
You can use social media from your mobile device to post your status and let family and friends know you are safe. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well Program (safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php).
After the Storm
If you have evacuated, some areas may be inaccessible even after the official evacuation order is rescinded. Return only after local authorities advise it is safe to do so. In some cases there may be downed power lines and flooded conditions. Keep tuned to your local radio and TV stations and monitor social media for recovery information. Take the following precautions after the storm:
• Avoid downed and sagging power lines.
• Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges and roadways.
• Inspect the utilities around and in your home
• Beware of snakes, insects and other animals driven to higher ground by floodwater.
• Let a relative know you are home
• Monitor the radio, TV and social media
If you’d like more information about hurricane conditions when you’re visiting don’t hesitate to contact us at Atlantic Beach Realty and we’ll share all we know with you.