Last-Minute Sheltering In Place For Hurricanes

Following 2020’s trend, this year’s hurricane season has already broken records as the “first year since storm record-keeping began in 1851 in which nine named tropical storms have formed before August and thirteen before September. That includes the four hurricanes that have formed so far this year.” (Source)

Given the activity of this season, there is no better time than NOW to get prepared. At Aerial Recovery Group, we know there is genuine peace in preparedness for any hazardous situation. Assembling your emergency bags and being armed with the knowledge for protecting your home are two steps that anyone can take to prepare for adverse conditions.

However, there is not always time to prepare in advance. In this blog, we’ll go over what to do if you have to prepare for last-minute sheltering in place.

Sheltering in Place: Essentials  

  1. Situate yourself in the most internal and covered portion of the home or building structure. Remember, in the high winds of hurricanes, flying debris can easily break windows, so stay as far away from windows as possible. Closets and central bathrooms are a better location. In a work office or other larger structures, the hallway or internal stairwell will provide more safety from the high winds and glass than any area with windows. Once there, notify a loved one of your location and your well being.
  2. Grab your emergency bag if you have one. That emergency bag should have food, water, first aid supplies, masks, hand sanitizer, emergency radios, and flashlights. 
  3. Use your emergency radio, TV, or phone to receive emergency updates. Notify a loved one where you are, who is with you, and updates on your well being but keep phone use to a minimum, so phone lines are free for emergency responders. 
  4. If you have pets, bring them inside and prepare a place with plastic sheeting, cut up grocery bags, or newspaper to prepare an indoor bathroom and needed materials for pet waste.  

 If you have enough time to prepare to shelter in place more thoroughly, use this 7-step checklist to prepare your home or emergency location for optimal safety and security.   

Sheltering in Place: Advanced

  1. Check the surrounding area of your home and clear any potential projectile objects. Store large items like barbecues, bicycles, lawn furniture in a garage or shed if possible. 
  2. Set fridge and freezer settings to coldest settings in case of a power outage - this will help extend your food’s shelf life.
  3. Know how to turn off airflow systems such as air conditioning and exhaust fans if officials/first responders ask you to do so. 
  4. Cover windows with plywood. If you don't have the materials on hand and time is short, you can use duct tape and make Xs across the window to minimize shattering. 
  5. Lock all doors and windows and seal them as tightly as possible. 
  6. Store valuables such as critical documents in waterproof containers.
  7. Communicate with your neighbors and help out as it is safe - you will be each other’s first lifelines as you wait for emergency responders. 

It is important to note that, even when the worst has passed, stay indoors until safety officials notify you of safer conditions. After a hurricane, there are many unseen hazards, such as downed power lines and debris in standing water. 

Remember: Stay informed, stay calm, and work together.


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