Knowing how to survive hurricanes is really important.
Even if you don’t live in an area known for getting smashed by hurricanes, you might find yourself trapped in one unexpectedly while on vacation or on a business trip, or while running from the law.
Life is unpredictable and preparation is key.
In this article, I’ll teach you how to survive hurricanes!
What is a Hurricane?
A hurricane is a huge, rotating storm of hatred with winds of up to 155 miles per hour! That’s fast enough to tear the roof off your house and flip your RV like a tortilla.
Typically about 300 miles wide, they can cause billions of dollars worth of damage!
Words of Wisdom
“If a tornado is God touching the earth with his middle finger, then a hurricane is him flushing his freakin toilet on us.”
What causes it?
When tropical oceans get warm, huge amounts of water evaporate into the air, rising into a giant, ominous cloud of butt-kicking potential.
As that warm, moist air rises, it leaves room for cool air to move in behind it.
The cool air also warms up, absorbs water, and rises.
This cycle continues on and on, creating the epic storm conditions that can flood a city, or send an armada of pirates to their untimely, watery graves.
A hurricane removes a butt-load of water from the ocean. Then it dumps that water onto places that are not the ocean, like on top of your city. That leads to severe flooding.
Aside from the ungodly torrents of rain, hurricanes also create something called “storm surge.”
Storm surge refers to the fact that coastal sea levels rise to monstrous heights during a hurricane.
The winds blow ocean water inland, causing rivers to overflow and levies to burst.
Want to know how to survive hurricanes? Be prepared for storm surge! That causes half of all hurricane deaths!
The winds of a hurricane can break your windows, tear off your roof, and scatter your chickens like delicious meat-confetti.
Power lines get torn down. Trees get uprooted. Insurance companies sh*t bricks.
Want to know how to survive hurricanes? Don't go out in the wind, but if you do, wear a helmet!
That way if something hits you in the melon, you can absorb the impact and keep marching on. After one or two hits, maybe the hurricane will get discouraged and switch its attention to someone with a softer head.
1. Don’t drown.
2. Don’t get hit by debris.
3. Don’t get electrocuted.
And that’s how to survive hurricanes!
Okay, Okay. Its easier said than done, so lets go deeper and see exactly how we can achieve these 3 very reasonable objectives.
You need weather updates.
You can use your cell phone, but if the internet cuts out (which it always does), you’re screwed! You need a emergency hand crank weather radio, which is much more dependable than your cell phone’s weather app.
Cell phones lose their wifi signal all the time, and the battery constantly dies and has to be recharged. You can’t charge your cell phone if your house (and entire neighborhood) has no electricity!
An emergency hand crank radio doesn’t need batteries and, unlike your cell phone, most of them are water proof. Just crank it and it works.
This one is not only waterproof. It doubles as a solar powered charging station, and a flashlight, and an SOS alarm, and a weapon (if you smash someone over the head with it).
If they tell you to get the hell out of Dodge, then get the hell out of Dodge! And if you live in a trailer park or a mobile home, then you definitely need to evacuate.
If you want to know how to survive hurricanes, then know this: Even moderate sized hurricanes can tear the roof off a mobile home.
Larger ones can overturn RV’s and trailers as easily as the Ultimate Warrior at peak frenzy.
Again, staying abreast of the situation via a good hand crank radio is crucial. Local governments will setup emergency shelters to protect and feed anyone who needs it.
Your radio will tell you exactly where those shelters are and how to get there.
Make sure you check traffic first so you don’t get stuck on the road. Find a good route around that mess.
A dedicated GPS system with internally saved maps is great for this.
I use a Garmin 500 with automatic traffic updates, but you can use any GPS system you want.
GPS is not only faster and more reliable than wifi reliant cell phones. It has unlimited range!
I can’t tell you how many times my cell has lost its wifi signal at precisely the moment when I needed to find a gas station or a restroom.
Want to know how to survive hurricanes?
Don’t get stuck in the middle of one because you got lost on your way to the shelter, or because traffic is bad!
Getting stuck in traffic with torrents of rain thundering down on you, and blazing winds hurling debris at your fragile human dome, is NOT how to survive hurricanes!
Don’t drive off if your area is already being overwhelmed by God’s watery wrath!
It only takes 2 feet of rushing water to carry off cars and SUV’s. Any hurricane with self respect will be dumping a hell of a lot more than that.
Board up your windows! Don’t worry about making holes in your stucco. Those holes can easily be fixed for pennies compared to the cost of repairing shattered windows and water damage.
When the storm hits, try to stay in the middle of your house, away from glass windows and doors which might shatter (even if boarded up) due to high powered winds and flying debris. Getting hit in the face by shards of glass is not how to survive hurricanes!
The basement is usually safe from glass and debris because its underground. But, if your neighborhood is already flooding, then don’t go to the basement!
That’s the first sector of your house that will fill with water.
Leonardo DiCaprio escaped, but you might not be so lucky, so don't try it.
If a hurricane is strong enough to make you to hunker down in place, its probably gonna knock out your city’s power.
Make sure you have a backup generator to run your fridge, laptop, and an electric heater.
This one by Westinghouse is awesome because it runs on both gas AND propane! That's important as the cost of gasoline continues to rise.
It can be installed on your RV if you have one, it automatically shuts off when the oil is low, and it even comes with a remote control!
Inhaling the odorless, colorless, tasteless carbon monoxide gas that generators produce is a guaranteed way of seeing the boatman.
Run your generator outside, and away from open windows and vents!
(By the way, you DO have a carbon monoxide detector in your house, right? If not, click here for a good one!)
Naturally, you don’t want the rain to destroy your generator. Most manufacturers recommend not allowing it to get wet, so its a good idea to protect it with an outdoor generator enclosure.
An outdoor generator enclosure sounds like a big, metal contraption that needs to be professionally installed, and it used to be.
But now they make inexpensive, lightweight, portable enclosures that look like miniature tents on wheels!
Take a look at the GenTent10k. It’s awesome!!!!
I’ve written extensively on the need for all of us to store food and water in the event of a zombie apocalypse (and every other fricken kind of apocalypse), but I’ll say it again because its that important:
You can’t live without water!
When a massive hurricane knocks out your city’s power grid, the water purification plant will be down for the count, leaving all sources of tap water unsafe for use. Get some gravity fed water filters.
Britta filters work, but as of this writing, they don’t remove fluoride. This one does!
You should also store clean water in 5 gallon jugs, and keep some water purification tablets handy as well.
For a hurricane, I recommend you keep at least 1 gallon per person in your household, per day, for at least 14 days.
More if possible!
If you have 3 people in your household, that means you need 9 jugs. So get rid of that dusty old Bow-Flex you ordered and never used, and make space for water!)
Make sure you have plenty of emergency food on hand as well.
(For an in depth explanation of everything you need to know in terms of food and water storage, check out this article here!)
Everyone wants to know how to survive hurricanes, but all they think about is water and wind. As important as those are, you should also remember this:
Home invasions increase during hurricanes!
There’s a unique species of criminal that specializes in robbing homes they believe have been evacuated.
If a neighborhood has been evacuated, then there’s no one to report them engaging in shenanigans. If the police are overwhelmed helping citizens cope the disaster, then there's no one to stop them.
You need to be prepared for an attempted break in. A shotgun or handgun does nicely.
(More on home defense options here!)
Even if you haven't been told to by local officials to evacuate, you might need to anyway!
Why would you leave your house in the middle of a hurricane?
Maybe the roof has blown off your house, or your trailer has tipped over. Maybe your dog escaped and you decide to go after him because, god damn it, that’s your best friend and you’re not gonna let him drown.
There’s a lot of scenarios that could force you into the storm.
A bugout bag is any backpack you keep filled with essentials such as food, water, money, a flashlight, a poncho, a mini-tent, a heat blanket, and copies of crucial documents like your I.D. and medical card.
By having it ready, you can grab it and leave on a moments notice, confident in the knowledge that you’ve at least given yourself a fighting chance.
(If you want to know how to setup your bugout bag properly, click here!)
Hurricanes are really great at blowing stuff over, like power lines!
When you go outside, whether its during the storm or after, try not to step into puddles near downed lines.
It might look perfectly safe, but if that puddle is electrified, it will light you up like a Christmas tree! What an embarrassing way to die, especially since hurricane season falls between June and November, NOT December.
To sum up: Don’t get electrocuted, don’t drown, and don’t get hit in the head by debris.
That’s how to survive hurricanes.
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