Depending on the severity of a hurricane, authorities may permit residents to shelter at home if they do not wish to evacuate. If choosing to stay, you will need to know the safest places to shelter in a house. Not all parts your home will provide the same protection to you and other members of your household during a storm.
Today, we will be discussing the safest places in a house to shelter during a hurricane. It is important to keep in mind that these are general guidelines. Always follow the directions of local authorities when a storm approaches your area.
When Is It Okay to Shelter in Place?
Authorities may order an evacuation or permit sheltering in place depending on a hurricane’s severity. These instructions can change quickly if a storm’s conditions worsen when they touch down in your area.
If you are sheltering at home, continue to check in with local authorities through the internet, social media, television, or radio for the latest updates. Keep an evacuation preparedness kit for each member of your household in case you have to leave the area at a moment’s notice. According to FEMA, such a kit should include:
- One gallon of water per person, per day for three days
- Non-perishable food items
- Battery-powered or hand crank-operated radio, NOAA weather radio preferred
- Additional batteries
- First-aid supplies
- 7-day supply of any prescription medication or necessary medical equipment
- Multi-purpose tool (i.e., a Swiss Army knife)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene supplies
- Copies of important personal documents
- Cell phone with a charger
- Emergency contact info
- Extra cash in case ATMs are unavailable
- Spare fuel for generators or vehicles
Stay on the First Floor
If you can, stay on the first floor of your home. This is the safest place to be during a hurricane. The lower level of your house is grounded in its foundation to withstand high winds and will not be as vulnerable to large falling debris, but it also has a far lower risk of flooding compared to a basement.
Avoid Rooms with Skylights or Windows
Skylights and windows made with traditional glass can shatter during a hurricane, leaving the rooms they are located in exposed to the elements. When possible, avoid these rooms altogether. If there are no windowless rooms in your home, select one with the smallest and fewest windows that could be easily covered or leave minimal openings if they break.
Select a Windowless Room Instead
On the first floor, select a windowless room to shelter in. This will protect you from both wind and flying debris. Some common examples of windowless spaces you might have in your home could include:
Almost all closets are built without windows. Before sheltering in a closet, be sure to remove any objects from any high shelves that could potentially fall and injure someone inside.
Some interior bathrooms and half-baths in homes are built without windows. However, in some circumstances, floodwaters may come up through pipes or drains in the bathroom. If this happens, leave the room immediately.
Interior hallways provide a spacious area for one or multiple members of a household. Try to remain near the center of the hallway and be sure to close any doors that branch off of it.
Interior stairwells are often built into the studs of the home and can provide sturdy protection in the event of a hurricane. If you decide to shelter in a stairwell, remain as close to the bottom step as possible.
Protect Your Home Against Hurricane Forces with Impact Windows
Though rooms with windows may appear more vulnerable to hurricanes, outfitting them with impact-resistant windows can increase their defenses against severe storm forces.
Unlike traditional glass windows, impact windows are designed to withstand high-strength winds and flying debris. Their more robust construction provides greater integrity and prevents shattering and exposing your interior to the elements.
Hurricane windows are available in a wide range of popular styles and their frames can be custom-sized to the existing openings in your home. Once installed, they remain a permanent fixture and require no additional setup, teardown, or storage like metal shutters or plywood boards.
Get Paradise Platinum Hurricane Impact Windows for Your Home
At Paradise Exteriors, we are the proud exclusive installers of USA-made Paradise Platinum hurricane impact windows. These windows are the only ones on the market that are both Energy Star-awarded and endorsed by the National Crime Prevention Council.
To learn more about installing Paradise Platinum windows in your Florida home, as well as information about financing and warranties, contact us today or request a free estimate.