- Your area is told or advised to evacuate by the local authorities
- You live close to water (including a river, stream, canal, or inland waterway) or in a low-lying area that could easily flood
- You live in a mobile home, an RV, a high-rise building, a beach cabin, or in an older home that might have become less sturdy over the years
- You have a family member who might suffer from a power loss because of needed electric medical equipment—C-pap machines, oxygen, etc.
- You live on an island or any area reached by a bridge that might wash out during the storm
- Your gut instinct says “GO!”
Summer hurricane season is here, and as long as a storm isn’t right on your doorstep, there’s still time to prepare. These five installments about hurricane preparedness will remind you of ways to stay safe and secure before, during, and after one of these destructive storms. Part Four: Under a Hurricane Warning A hurricane warning means the storm is definitely heading in your general direction, and it’s time to decide whether or not you are going to evacuate. In making this decision, remember that a hurricane is not a spectator sport! While it may be pretty exciting to experience such a force of nature, the excitement could quickly turn to fear and panic if high winds, storm surge, and flooding destroy your home or make it impossible to live in. This is not a time for foolish bravado and hosting a hurricane party, especially if the hurricane is severe. Cat 5 is the strongest category of hurricane, but even smaller, weaker storms can cause wind damage, serious flooding, and loss of power and other utilities. These effects can possibly impact you and your home for extended periods. Any hurricane can also spawn tornadoes. I once saw twin water spouts (funnel clouds that form over the water) come ashore on a Florida beach and cause damage. The storm surge is the “wall” of water that the storm brings with it from the ocean or gulf, and is especially dangerous if it coincides with high tides. A friend showed me a photograph of a chain link fence dotted with the bodies of dead fish that got caught in the links during a powerful storm surge in Texas, all facing forward, their mouths gaping open. Wind and water are powerful forces. Respect them. Evacuating Some factors that mean evacuation is the best course include the following: