How to survive a hurricane, typhoon or cyclone

  • Be prepared to either evacuate or endure the storm at home.
  • Ready a bug out bag with 3-5 days of food and essentials.
  • Put all your important documents in a waterproof container.
  • During the hurricane, wait in an interior room, away from windows.
  • Choose a place to evacuate to if necessary.
  • Plan an escape route out of the area.

 

What are the differences between a hurricane, a typhoon, and a cyclone?

  • They are basically the same, except for where they exist. Hurricanes form in the Atlantic Ocean and the Northeast Pacific Ocean (affecting America, Canada, and England, for example),
  • Typhoons form in the Northwest Pacific Ocean (affecting Japan, Taiwan, and China for example).
  • Cyclones form in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean (affecting India and Australia for example).

Throughout this post, I will refer to all such storms as hurricanes for simplicity. Survival information should be the same for hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones.

 

In an apartment

During a hurricane, you should go down to the lowest part of your apartment and stay in a small room such as a bathroom or closet somewhere without Windows, possibly even a hallway. Keep your emergency kit and your bug-out bag with you and you can listen to the radio.

If you’re in a high-rise apartment you need to be concerned about the high winds which will accompany the storm surges and the possibility of flooding. The biggest immediate danger is the wind breaking the windows and destroying your apartment from the rain in the Wind a secondary danger would be flooding out the basement and destroying your support. You need to immediately go down near the bottom floors because the wind is much stronger and faster at higher levels. Also, it will be easier to rescue you if you do have problems. But avoid the basement if you think flooding may be possible.

In your home
If you’re trying to survive a hurricane in your home, you need to listen to the news on the radio, or possibly the TV and the internet. You need to secure your home from wind damage. If you have storm shutters or some exterior doors, you need to close them. Also, bring any straight objects in from the yard. Bring them inside or at least into your garage so they don’t blow around. The authorities may ask you to turn off your utilities and you should also turn off any of propane tanks and try not to use the phone, though texting should be OK.

On an island
If you’re on an island such as in the Caribbean or the Pacific, you need to make your own disaster plans. It’s possible that the hurricane will knock out the power for up to a week, possibly even longer as in the case of Porto Rico. Due to the danger of flooding, it’s a generally good idea that you seek shelter at higher elevations and stay away from the beach. In any tropical area, watch out for coconuts which can fly around like cannonballs during a hurricane.

At sea
A storm at sea can be a pretty terrible experience. Ancient literature is filled with truly scary examples of people surviving stormy seas. The most obvious Solution on a ship is to sail away from the storm in order to get out of the area before the storm hits, but often that’s not possible.

Another possible solution is to land at a port that has high Cliffs with mountains around a harbor that can protect you from the winds. But if you’re in a port that does get hit by Hurricane you can have your ship hammered by the wind and thrown against the rocks or various obstructions around the harbor. So it’s very important where you choose where to go. It might be better to stay at sea and ride out the storm. If you are forced to sail in the middle of a hurricane, you want to plow your ship into the waves and make sure they don’t hit your boat on the side because that is the surest way to capsize your ship and sink it.

Outside
It takes many days for Hurricanes to develop, so it should be very unusual to be caught outside by surprise. The first thing to be concerned about is flooding due to the high tides coming in and so you want to get away from low ground move up to Higher Ground. Surprisingly, the most deadly part of a hurricane is the Inland flooding and flash floods from rivers and streams which catch people unaware. It can be surprising how fast and Powerful the storm-driven water is. So stay away from rivers, lakes, and streams that are probably going to flood out.

Second, you should be concerned with the strong winds and so try to find Shelter From the powerful currents of air and if necessary try to protect yourself behind a tree. But make sure the tree limbs are not going to fall down on you. Another possibility is to wait it out the way horse would, out in the middle of a field. But obviously, you don’t weigh as much as a horse, so be careful that you are not blown into the next county.

In Florida
Florida has the unfortunate situation of having lots of hurricanes and also being relatively low lying ground. So for example, if you are vacationing in Florida when a Hurricane alert is given, it’s time to end your vacation and go home. Go to someplace without hurricanes, like Montana or least go to a place with Higher Ground. If you happen to reside permanently in Florida. hopefully, you’ve got your hurricane Insurance and you know from experience what to expect in your area from a hurricane. But if necessary, you should be prepared to relocate to a different area; even out-of-state, if necessary.

In the Caribbean
The Nations around the Caribbean and Central America are often highly affected by hurricanes. Before you travel there, it’s recommended that you have Travelers Insurance in case there is a canceled flight due to bad weather and also, you should have both primary and secondary accommodations lined up. Check with the local authorities to see what the regional preparations are.

Also, check the small print of your tickets and your contracts to see how they these different organizations deal with cancellations due to hurricanes. Along with your regular travel gear, it is recommended that you bring some emergency gear such as a bug out bag. And of course, pay attention to the news, especially the weather reports. Even use your own eyes and ears (which can sense the pressure changes of an approaching storm) to keep tabs on the weather. And finally, be prepared to cancel the trip if you think a hurricane is going to harm your plans. Be mentally prepared to take a vacation somewhere else; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

In a hotel room
If you’re stuck in your hotel room during a hurricane, check with the lobby to see if they have any special instructions or any assistance. If not, you need to close your windows and then cover up your windows with the heavy curtains. Then, go away from the windows, perhaps into the bathroom or closet. Bring a chair, or sit down on the floor if necessary. You can even relax in the bathtub.

Move all your important items out of the main room and then put them in the closet or the bathroom to protect them from any possibility of storm damage in case your room is compromised. Then you have to wait out the hurricane which is a combination boredom and fear. This would be a good time to break out a card game or perhaps a lot of Sudoku puzzles. After the Storm passes to try to meet up with other guest and the hotel staff and build some fellowship and pleasant memories over this exceptional experience.

Will it survive a hurricane?

A house
Most modern houses in America, especially those in Hurricane prone areas are built up to a high standard so that they can survive most hurricanes, even the most powerful Category 5 hurricanes. This includes concrete houses as well as wooden frame houses. All of them should withstand a typical hurricane. Unfortunately, older houses may not survive a hurricane and so you may need to evacuate your fragile home even as others ride out the storm at home.

Having a concrete house will offer the most protection from foreign objects blown by High winds straight through your walls. A wooden frame house might not protect you from that. Apparently, the concrete houses in the Caribbean are strong enough on the top to withstand hurricanes but there is some question over their foundations.

Another thing to be concerned about is your homeowner’s insurance. Most of the time, homeowners insurance has a high deductible for hurricane damage and it doesn’t cover flooding damage. So now would be a very good time to check your insurance and see exactly what’s covered. This is why you should always have money saved up for a rainy (hurricane) day. Having cash is home is highly recommended as a power loss will prevent ATMs and banks from working.

Building materials

The best material to withstand hurricanes is concrete and the best shape would be a monolithic dome which has gentle curves that can withstand higher when forces than a square building.

Timber is a very common building material and when it’s new it’s pretty strong. However, it will get old and rotten and a weakened Timber structure is unlikely to stand up to a hurricane. Also, a tin roof will likely become a deadly weapon, flung about by hurricane winds, so beware if there are any such materials in your neighborhood.

Stucco is often used as a replacement building material for concrete and it is has proven to be a very effective finish for resisting water damage. Even in Hurricane winds, 1/2 inch stucco provides excellent resistance to water. So, stucco housing should be better than wood.

Mobile home
No matter what you do to prepare a mobile home, it’s not a safe place to spend in a hurricane. Even if the general area is not ordered to evacuate, everybody in a mobile home should find another shelter. And if you live near a mobile home park, look out for hurricane force winds blowing these big metal boxes into your house or yard.

Windows
Many people recommend Alligator tape to protect your windows, but taping up your windows doesn’t really protect them from wind-blown debris. And if they don’t break then you’ll have to take all that tape off again which can be difficult. Instead, protect your windows by putting up some plywood or some hurricane shutters over your windows.

Roof
One of the most common forms of hurricane damage is when strong winds rip the whole roof off of your house. Well, there’s not much you can do during a hurricane to stop that. However, if you prepare ahead there are some things you can do to prevent your roof from being stripped off and having your house destroyed.

While there are some things you could do yourself, it may be a better idea to have a contractor, for example, apply some Roofing cement underneath the shingles. Also, they can use construction adhesive along the seams of the rafters to provide extra strength, and they can also use Roofing cement to protect the shingles.

Additionally, the contractor can install hurricane Clips which were made of metal or straps that can connect your roof to the walls. That will certainly make it a lot less likely that strong winds can just rip the roof off. These clips are not expensive but they can be difficult to install.

Car
You absolutely should not be in a car during a hurricane, just as you should not be in a mobile home. However, there are some things you can do to prepare your car, especially if you are given evacuation orders and you need to leave before the hurricane gets there.

First, take pictures of your car so that insurance companies can see what it looked like before it is possibly damaged. Secondly, store your important documents such as your registration and your insurance in a waterproof bag. Finally, fill up your tank because you don’t know when you will be able to fill it up during or after the emergency. Hopefully, you can find a safe place to park, next to a building to block high winds, but not next to trees where the limbs or power lines can be blown down.

Ships, yachts
Most modern ships are made a very strong steel and they can endure hurricane-force winds and waves at sea. This is especially true of modern cruise ships. These ships are so huge that they can sail through hurricanes with minimal damage and even a rogue wave will at the most break a window. But even those accidents are extremely rare on cruise ships.

While being on a cruise ship is one of the safest places to be during Hurricane, on the other hand, a being on a yacht or smaller boat is a different situation. A yacht is not made of tons of steel and it’s not a behemoth, so it’s much better to sail away from the storm. Consider if leaving your boat moored in the harbor is wise, or if sailing it to a safer port would be better.

Pets
Cats and dogs should not be allowed outside during Hurricane, obviously. Instead, you should keep them inside with you. If necessary, you can keep them in some kind of an animal carrier. Make sure that their tags are up-to-date and applied around the animal’s neck so that if you do get separated during the hurricane it’s much easier to find each other again. Make sure that you stock up on whatever animal supplies you may need for a week in case of the storm damages your community. If you must evacuate, take notice, Not all shelters will take animals, so study up ahead of time and find out where you can go if you want to take your animal with you.

Mosquitoes
No, mosquitoes cannot survive a hurricane. The ones in the hurricane area will be either destroyed or Swept Away. However, more mosquitoes will soon come back and recolonize the area. Mosquitoes love standing water and after a Hurricane, there is a lot of standing water. They especially love swimming pool water because it’s much usually is much cleaner than the areas affected by the runoff water of rivers. So, the mosquitoes after a few weeks will probably become much more intense than they were before the hurricane, but these are not the same mosquitoes. This is the new generation.

Birds
Birds have been surviving hurricanes for millennia. What they typically do is fly to a nest in a tree and try to wait out the hurricane. Sometimes they make it sometimes they don’t.

Sharks and Fish
What happens to the sea creatures during a hurricane? Well, some creatures are very local and they can’t move to other areas such as well Coral, shrimp, Lobsters, and so on are either immobile or territorial, so they suffer most. Also, the slow swimmers tend to be destroyed during a Hurricane. However many fish and sharks can sense the pressure changes of an approaching storm and just swim out of the dangerous area before it becomes too Troublesome for them. I suppose the good news is if you’re going to be swimming during a typhoon you don’t have to worry about shark attacks.

Wild animals
Wild animals don’t farewell during hurricanes. Many times 50% or more of a population will be destroyed as well as many of the natural habitats where they prefer to live. But fortunately because these are wild animals, Ups and downs in their populations are natural and their ecosystems are prepared for that. So almost always, the local animals will repopulate the area over time.

Some animals that do well after Hurricanes would be frogs, toads, and raccoons. These frogs and toes love the water. Raccoons are scavengers and they’re pretty clever in finding new ways to hunt and new kinds of food. Also, black bears and ground birds appreciate the new shelter they find from all of the stuff that’s blown down on the ground and bears are also scavengers, so they eat well.

Which animals do poorly?. Squirrels suffer, partly because the baby squirrels get blown out of their nests by the wind and they don’t make it back, and often the nuts are blown out of the trees and the squirrels don’t have as much food for the winter. Sea turtles make their nests on the beaches and they can have their beaches destroyed by the hurricanes, so they will lose their eggs and hatchlings. Fish can do poorly as the heavy rains bring pollutants and fertilizers into the water creating great algae blooms which starve the water of oxygen. In case you forgot, fish gather oxygen underwater through their gills.

Livestock
Horses, cows, chickens, and all the other farm animals may need special care during a Hurricane. Many of them would be better off placed in a barn, but sometimes that’s not possible, or perhaps the barn isn’t that strong. It might be necessary for you to leave the animals out to roam free in pasture and hope for the best.

Make sure that you don’t leave livestock in a low-lying area which can flood. Also, ensure that you have you have waterproof containers for the animal’s food so that you can use it after the storm passes, and especially make sure that your herbicides and pesticides are stored safely so that they don’t run off with the rainwater into the rivers during the high winds and flooding.

 

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