Hurricane Prep Drills

"evacuate the island" Hurricane Prep Drills GIF
Chris Pratt, Secret Director of NWS

It’s all coming together. Your basic needs are met by your emergency kit, your house is in great hands, and your kids are brave as hell. Now it’s time for some hurricane prep drills for practice!

We’ve talked about both sheltering in place and evacuating. You should err on the side of evacuating anytime it’s recommended, if time and circumstance allow. You should receive warnings about approaching hurricanes which will give you time to decide on the best option. Since you may need to evacuate, have a few options in mind, whether you have nearby family members, favorite hotels, or a private chalet in that European country only rich people know about. In case your preferred plans fall through, also be aware of your local community shelters. Note their contact information in case you need to call with questions.

When planning your evacuation routes, note the official evacuation routes and check the map for additional routes that could help you evacuate more quickly in the event of blocked roads or increased traffic. Write all of your evacuation options and routes in order of preference in your emergency plan and make sure the entire family is aware of the details.

All Hands on Deck

If you’re delegating tasks to your family, it’s a good idea to practice before it’s a life and death situation. Write your full emergency plan and create individual bullet point lists for each family member so they can maintain all of their tasks during the crisis. Copies of both the full plan and each individuals’ responsibilities should be kept in each emergency kit.

Your personal plan will dictate how your drill runs, but do make sure everyone in the family knows where the emergency kits are, and that they are only for use during emergencies. Do a dry run of your home protection plans before completing an evacuation drill. Practicing while there is no imminent threat will make your family feel more confident in a crisis.

Leave When It’s Time to Leave

To absolutely drive the point home, we will say it again: if local officials tell you to leave, abandon all plans to shelter in place. Don’t try to ride out a hurricane if your location is deemed unsafe. If your area floods, you may need to wait much longer for rescue than your emergency supplies will allow, and any injury or sickness could become fatal while you wait for rescue. Do not take the chance. Evacuation may be inconvenient, but it’s truly better to be safe than sorry. And if you’re already amenable to it, don’t wait for an order to evacuate; leaving early can help you beat the rush and keep anxiety levels low.

But what happens when you come back?

Car with supplies for Hurricane Prep Drills
You probably won’t need this many paper towels, but you should pack that car and vamoose!

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.