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Preparing a safe room for hurricane season

Posted at 7:20 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 19:38:39-04

(WTXL) — When evacuation orders are given ahead of a storm, it's best to follow what emergency managers tell you. For some, driving out of harm's way isn't an option.

Should you find yourself in that situation, here's how to create a safe room where you live.

Creating a safe room in your home can help you ride out a hurricane if you're unable to evacuate. The key is be prepared ahead of time.

First, you want to designate a space inside your home as your safe room. Leon County Emergency Management Director Kevin Peters said a bathroom with no windows is a good start.

"An area where you can come together with you and your family away from the exterior exposures to the high winds and take your disaster supply kit," said Peters.

The space should be at the center of your home that's away from any exterior doors or windows. A closet or hallway will work too, and make sure it's stocked with supplies.

"What I like to do is start now. When I go to the grocery store I start picking up little supplies here and there," said Robbie Berg.

Berg is the Chief Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center. You may already have many of the things he suggests for a safe room.

To make your space more comfortable, you'll want to make sure you have towels, pillows and blankets. Grab a few games or puzzles too to help entertain your children and pass the time.

In the event you lose power, you want to make sure you have enough non-perishable food and snacks for five days and one gallon of water per person per day. Make sure you have some flashlights handy, and don't forget extra batteries.

Don't forget a storm radio, so you can get updates from officials, and a power bank to keep your devices charged.

You also want to make sure you have a first aid kit ready and some Ziploc bags to keep any important documents, cash and cell phones dry.

Berg said don't wait until you're in the danger zone to start preparing.

"Doing it over a long period of time so that once hurricane season begins, once the storm forms and threatens, I'm already ready to go," said Berg.

Until then, put all of your items into a water safe bin for storage until you need it. These are just a few simple steps you can take now so you're ready this hurricane season.