Here are five things you should know to avoid when a hurricane hits:
Don’t Walk or Drive in Water
Floodwaters from hurricanes can carry contaminants, electrical current from downed power lines, and debris or dangerous animals. They can also move rapidly, look deceptively shallow, and wash out roads — all of which endanger people walking or driving in the water. Remember the National Weather Service’s saying, “Turn around, don’t drown.”
Don’t Go Outside
Hurricane winds can range from 70 mph to more than 200 mph, and the eye can have deceiving lulls. These winds can carry heavy or sharp debris that could harm anyone who is not indoors. Don’t leave the protection of your shelter unless you are in imminent danger, or have instructions to evacuate from emergency personnel.
Never Use A Generator Indoors
According to the National Weather Service, carbon monoxide gas poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after hurricane-induced power outages. Because portable backup generators produce this poisonous gas, they should be kept outside at all times.
Don’t Use Tap Water For Drinking or Cooking
During a hurricane, public utilities like water treatment can lose power when residents do, which means your water can be untreated. Untreated tap water may contain bacteria that’s not safe to drink or to brush your teeth or cook with. Fill bathtubs and containers with clean, treated tap water before a hurricane hits.
Don’t Leave Others Behind
During an evacuation order, many residents may be unable to find safety elsewhere because of scarce resources. If it is safe for you to do so, check on your neighbors, especially the disabled and elderly. When you can, offer to carpool with them, to share your shelter, or to assist them to safety. In addition to your neighbors, never leave your pets during an evacuation order. Use this Houston SPCA checklist to prepare your pets for hurricanes.
Keep your family and community safe this hurricane season by planning and preparing ahead of time.