National Preparedness Month 2015: Hurricane Safety


In the spirit of National Preparedness Month and the third week being dedicated to hurricanes, we'd like to provide some basic safety tips to our community! Even though we don't typically face the strength of hurricanes in Missouri, we do sometimes face flooding dangers with the endless rains that hurricane season can bring, so it's a good idea to be prepared. (Remember Ike?)


Before a hurricane:

Know your hurricane risk. Coastal cities are at great risk for the extreme winds and flooding from rain and storm surge, and inland areas are at risk for wind, thunderstorms, and flooding as well. To learn about your property's projected risk to flood hazards, click here.

Know how to stay informed. Monitor weather reports provided by your local media and/or sign up for local text or email alerts if available in your area. If internet connectivity is an issue, consider investing in a weather radio receiver to get these updates. Likewise, keep extra batteries around for your radio and maybe even a battery-operated cell phone charger.

Know your evacuation routes - plan your transportation and identify a place to stay.

Practice taking shelter. Practice gathering your necessities and either evacuating your home or going to a safe place, in a rushed manner, as you would in a real emergency. You want to make sure there's nothing in your way or that would prevent you and your family from making it to safety as quickly as possible. 

Practice how you will communicate with family members. Make sure your entire family is on board with the safety plan and that there will be no barriers to communicating with one another if needed. Each of you should know the plan, your individual responsibilities in facilitating the plan, and how to get in touch with each other safely.

Practice first aid skills and emergency response actions through training classes. The American Red Cross offers regular training classes on emergency preparedness. Don't wait until an emergency arises to have the proper training to act.

Store supplies so you can grab them quickly if you need to evacuate. Know in advance what you will need to take. When making your list, consider the "Five Ps of Evacuation" - People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, Priceless Items. Store basic supplies in a "go bag" that is kept in an easily-accessible location to grab quickly upon evacuation.

Store supplies you will need to live at home with no power. In case you are unable to evacuate but lose power and water to your home, you must be able to sustain life. Consider building an emergency kit which includes the following items: radio and flashlight (either hand-cranked or battery-powered), extra batteries, at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food (including pet food), first aid kit and medications, and sleeping bag or warm blankets.

Store the important documents you will need to start your recovery. Review your homeowners or renters insurance policies and prepare or update a list of your home's contents by taking pictures or videotaping each room. Store items such as these and birth certificates, social security cards, mortgage papers, etc., in a fire- or water-proof safe.

Protect your property and manage your risk. If you're in an area that is hurricane or flood prone, purchase specialized insurance to protect your dwelling against loss caused by damages.


During a hurricane:

Evacuate. If authorities advise you to evacuate, do so immediately. Follow posted evacuation routes at all times, and don't forget the Five Ps of evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, and Priceless Items.

If you are in an area without an evacuation notice...Take precautions to protect yourself and stay safe from high winds and potential flooding. Stay away from windows and glass doors, preferably in a small, interior, windowless room in your home.


After a hurricane:

If you evacuated, return home only after authorities indicate that it is safe to do so. Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas. Be aware of downed trees, power lines, and fallen debris.

If you stayed in the area or as you return, use caution when entering or leaving flooded buildings. Turn off electricity and gas, use flashlights rather than lanters, torches, or matches to examine buildings as flammable gases may be inside. Do not walk through moving waters for any reason, and, if possible, do not enter standing water either - you may not be able to tell exactly how deep it is or what it contains.


In general, just be careful. Listen to media alerts and do not ignore weather advisories. For more tips on basic flood safety, see our recent blog post on the topic.


These tips provided by


Add New Comment
Your Name
Email Address
Human Verification 5 3 =