Riding out a hurricane at home can, at the very least, fray your nerves. The sounds alone are disturbing: The wind howls. Tree limbs snap off and thud against the roof.
Metal bends and breaks. Glass shatters. Roof tiles peel away. That’s the extent of it, if you don’t have what most people would consider major damage.
Here are things to remember to make your time at home during the storm as safe as possible.
■ Go to an interior room of your house such as an inside closet or bathroom. Your top choice is an inner room with no windows. If you have to be in a room with a window, keep the window covered.
■ Stay off the phone, because lightning may accompany the storm.
■ Close the interior doors to all of the rooms in the house, in case some damage occurs to one or some of the rooms but not all of them.
■ Take supplies with you into the room, including the basics: food, water, flashlight, a radio, a cell phone, extra batteries, pet food, plastic bags.
■ Bring important documents and personal papers with you into your safe room or secure them in another safe place that’s not likely to suffer damage from wind or flood water.
■ Remember hurricanes can take hours to pass. Bring provisions to combat boredom for hours after the power goes out and the TV goes dark: cards, games, books and toys for the kids.
■ If you can drag a mattress into your safe room, do so. You can buttress the mattress against the door of the safe room or against a weak exterior wall. If you feel like the roof may collapse, hide under the mattress in your safe room.
■ Stay inside until you’re positive the storm has passed. Don’t be fooled by a calm outside. It may be the eye of the storm passing, and severe conditions could follow and catch you unprepared.
■ Stay calm. Don’t imbibe. You need to think clearly to stay safe during a hurricane.