As I write this post Hurricane Irene is about to barrel into New York and other parts of New England so as a former reporter who’s covered hurricanes and a father who’s been through six of these suckers here’s my top five most important hurricane survival tips for families:
1. Don’t make the common “rookie” mistake of treating hurricanes as fun events. This is foolish and often leads to unnecessary injuries and even deaths from people who underestimate the power of storms. If you’re tempted to sneak outside to see the storm for yourself, don’t!
2. If you own a power generator DO NOT use it inside your home or apartment. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer and is a real danger if you turn your power generators on indoors. Always use power generators outdoors.
3. Beware of standing water/puddles. In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane or tropical storm puddles are known to often mask downed, live wires that can and will electrocute you and/or your children. Live wires are common post-hurricane hazards.
4. Be extra frugal with your resources. If you experience a power outage you may not get power for days or weeks so take extra care of things of such things as batteries and water, two of the most after commodities immediately after a storm.
5. Obey your local authorities. Like ’em or hate ’em, local authorities have a strong, broad understanding of what you need to do to best weather a storm before, during and after a hurricane. This is not the time to dismiss their advice.