While each hurricane presents a unique situation, AOL News offers the following basic guide for where to go, what to do and what to watch out for in the advent of such an event, culled from the various strategies outlined by government bodies, weather scientists and those who have lived through hurricanes in the past.
FEMA:The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it's important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas:
5. Garage doors
Bond Health Center:Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm, and winds may pick up again.
Stay away from windows and glass doors.
Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
In high-rise buildings, head to lower floors, as winds are stronger at higher elevations.
International Hurricane Protection Association:Safest place in your home: During a hurricane, stay away from heavy furniture, appliances, large panes of glass, shelves holding heavy objects, and masonry veneer (such as the fireplace). These items tend to fall or break and can injure you. Know the danger spots: windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces and tall furniture.
Know your environment: Always know all the possible ways to exit your house and workplace in hurricane situations. Try to discover exits that would only be available to you in an emergency. Know your open and safe areas that are away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses and elevated expressways. Know the location of the shutoff valves for water, gas and electricity. Learn how to operate the valves. If you are not sure, contact your utility company.
Conduct practice drills: Physically place yourself and your children in safe locations. Always know all the possible ways to exit your house and workplace in a hurricane situation. Try to discover exits that would only be available to you in an emergency.
A mobile home is vulnerable to wind and water damage during a hurricane. Although you must leave your mobile home before a storm, you can plan ahead to minimize property damage.
• Check with the county zoning office to ensure that the mobile home is installed to code.
• Check mobile home tie-downs for rust or breakage.
• Consider an inspection by local building officials.
• Know where to evacuate to.
Sun-Sentinel:Residents of high-rise buildings should be aware that winds are stronger at higher elevations.
• If you live on a high floor, and your building is outside the evacuation zone, you should relocate to the third floor or below.
• Condo owners should get hurricane shutters for all sliding glass doors and windows.
• Renters, you are responsible for securing your area. Follow home-safety hurricane procedures, such as installing shutters.
• Buy renter's insurance or condo insurance for all personal property.
• Make sure the condo association has adequate insurance.
• Appoint floor captains to check on residents with special needs before and after a storm.
• Know the route to the nearest stairs. (Elevators may not work during and after a storm.)
Hurricaneville:In a one-story home, the strongest room is often a bathroom or walk-in closet near the center of the house.
Do not use the phone, or candles.
Before going out, make sure that all is definitely clear outside, and the storm has completely passed.
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