What to Do After a Hurricane Has Hit
Follow these steps to rebound quickly
Living through a hurricane is a scary experience, and if you live along the gulf or Atlantic coast that is susceptible to them, an experience that you will no doubt have to go through several times in your life. However, you can prepare yourself for what to do in a hurricane, which will help to make the experience easier to deal with, and just a little less scary. Here is what you should do after a hurricane has hit.
Check that you and your family are OK
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, check in with yourself and your family to make sure you are bearing up emotionally. Hurricanes are stressful events to live through, and if your situation involved emergency evacuation, and possibly losing your house and possessions, that’s going to have an impact on your mental well-being. Shock can set in several weeks after the event itself, so pay attention to how you and your family are reacting to the stress.
You should also let friends and family who are outside of your household know that you are safe. A telephone call will provide some much-needed personal contact and emotional support. You can also register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website, which will provide your family and friends with the immediate reassurance that you are safe following a natural disaster.
Returning home safely
If you have been evacuated, you should only return home when the authorities confirm that it is safe for you to do so. Once home, assess the damage sustained during the hurricane and make a plan of action before tackling the cleaning and repairs. Make sure you wear protective clothing, including a hard hat, waterproof steel-toed boots, and waterproof heavy work gloves. These will help to protect you against any hazards that might not be immediately obvious.
When carrying out repairs, consider building in hurricane-resistant features to help further protect your home the next time a hurricane strikes. For instance, use hurricane straps to fasten the roofs to the walls, secure double-entry doors at both the top and bottom, and strengthen garage doors to improve wind resistance. While many of these repairs can be done yourself, make sure you bring in a professional to carry out any specialized tasks.
Consider supporting hurricane relief organizations
As you will have no doubt discovered, disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross provide tremendous support to communities experiencing natural disasters. There are various ways to support them and the critical work they do. A hurricane relief donation helps to provide food, shelter and support to communities affected by hurricanes, and also provides information and education about how to recover from a hurricane and how best to secure your property. You can also volunteer on a Disaster Action Team if you would like to be actively involved in helping people. Volunteers come from all ages, and there are a variety of volunteer roles available to suit your personality and skillset.