That time of year is upon us: hurricane season. Beginning on June 1st and lasting until November 30th, hurricane season is here and will be hanging out in the back of our minds for the next little while. If you live in a coastal town, hurricane season should be something for which you are prepared. Should you live inland, you are not off the hook; hurricanes are able to make their way inland as well, causing just as much if not more trouble there. When a storm is coming, the truth is simply that no one in its path is 100% safe.
With hurricanes come damaging wind, flying debris, and rising waters, be it because of storm surge or other sources of flooding. If you live in an area where flood waters are capable of making their way into your home, getting out is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Being trapped by rising water can be of great danger, as escape may not be possible. If you do choose to risk it and stay put, at the very least it is essential that you prepare yourself with survival items that can weather the storm, such as survival gear that floats.
1. You never know what you might encounter in a flood so expect the unexpected. As waters rise, anything within their reach can become part of the flood. This could mean having to fight through not only murky waters but also miscellaneous floating debris. Should you be faced with debris you cannot push through or pull apart, a knife will be of great use to you. In particular, a knife that floats and bears a brightly colored handle so you will be able to see it immediately if you drop it could be of great use. The presence of a knife that you are less likely to lose during a flood will not only ease you mind somewhat but will also help you survive.
2. Something else of great use during a hurricane and in the resulting flood is a flashlight. Since power will undoubtedly be lost, having a light source that will not douse in a downpour will help you see your way out of any dangerous situations in which you might find yourself. Purchasing a floating flashlight also in a bright color ensures that if that item is dropped, it, too, can be seen and recovered quickly.
Photo: Travel Experta
3. Being able to make noise during a disaster could very well be lifesaving, especially for someone who is out of your line of sight. If a member of your party becomes separated by flood waters, yelling to one another in a downpour may not be enough. Instead, add a survival horn to your arsenal. In addition to helping your party communicate, it can also be used to call to rescuers. Survival horns work through forcefully expelling a breath of air into them and are loud enough to create a sound of up to 120 decibels, which is louder than a jet engine (112 decibles). They also float, are brightly colored, and do not require batteries so they will not let you down when it counts. Even a whistle is an option that is better than having nothing at all.
While floating gear is very useful, the key is to keep it with you. Having these items in bright colors will help you be able to see them, but securing them to your person is even more of a guarantee. It is at times such as this that paracord will come in handy. With its high tensile strength (550lbs), you will not have to worry about it breaking. It also will not dry rot or mildew, so you do not have to worry about it weakening or developing a failure point over time. Paracord also comes in varities that will glow in the dark to aid you even further in keeping track of your stuff, so consider using paracord to develop a system of securing necessary items to your belt or belt loops when disasters are near.
Dying in a natural disaster is much easier than one might think. Many of the storms that make landfall annually result in high death tolls, much of which is because people refuse to evacuate. To each their own when it comes to the decision to stay or go, but if you plan to stay and ride out the storm, be sure to plan to survive every step of the way.