The deadliest hurricane in U.S. history, referred to as the “Great Galveston Hurricane,” struck Texas in 1900 and resulted in an estimated 11,000 deaths.
Since 1851, the top three states for hurricane landfalls are Florida (114), Texas (63), and Louisiana (54), according to data from the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami.
Hurricane Sandy caused 8.5 million power outages across 21 states, the highest outage total ever.
23 days after Hurricane Katrina local utilities had power restored to only three-quarters of their customers.
It is always best to be prepared and know what to do to remain safe as a hurricane approaches. Here are some things you should do before and during and after a hurricane to keep you and your home safe.
Before the Storm - it is best to have a hurricane supply kit prepared. Items you should include is batteries, all your important papers in a plastic zip bag, medications for at least 2 weeks, nonperishable food, water (1 gallon per person per day) and ice. Flashlights and a battery powered radio are also needed. In most cases preparing for not having electricity for 3 days is sufficient but if you ever have been through a hurricane you should be prepared for 7 days or longer.
Food Supply Ideas: Maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of the family. Small, preferably single serving cans (should not require cooking or refrigeration). Dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly, coffee, tea, soft drinks and pet foods. Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables. Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water). Staples – sugar, salt, pepper in water proof containers. High energy foods like crackers, granola bars, trail mix. Raw vegetables that do not need refrigeration.
For a complete list of all items please visit https://www.uscg.mil/d7/airstaBorinquen/docs/HurricanePage/Suggested%20Hurricane%20Supply%20Kits%20.pdf
During the Storm - When it comes to electrical safety prior to and during the storm you should unplug all unnecessary appliances, TV’s, computers and cables to protect them from power surges. During the storm be sure to turn off your a/c unit.
After the Storm - there are hazards you will need to be aware of. The first danger is downed power lines. If you see one be sure to call your local power company and report it. You want to be sure to avoid going anywhere near a downed power line. Another hazard is flooded roads. You do not want to drive through any flooded road as it may have downed power lines, debris and other hazards you can’t see. Do not let your children play in any water for safety reasons as well.
When power is restored wait 5-10 minutes before turning on your appliances and a/c unit. This is protect them from power surges as power is being restored.
If you are using a generator be sure it is in a well ventilated area outside of your home to avoid carbon dioxide poisoning. Do not plug appliances directly into generators. Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, are free of cuts and worn insulation and have three-pronged plugs. Do not overload generators.
Being prepared and knowing what to do is the key to minimizing hurricane damage to yourself your family and your home.