Lessons when hurricanes strike

Categories: Life Stories

After having survived 3 major hurricanes and a tornado, Steven McGehee recounts some of the things that he went through and gives us and insight into what to do in case of a major catastrophe. These are some of the things that need to be considered before a major event.

"Frances was a slow moving storm. High winds started here on Saturday afternoon. The highest winds were on Sunday, with rain bands and high gusts continuing into Monday. This location is surrounded by large oaks which serve as a wind screen – unless they are blown over. The highest gust measured at 30 feet here was only 46 MPH, but it was obvious from the movement of the oaks, that the winds were much higher above the trees. On Sunday, a tornado touched down a couple hundred yards from here. I could not see it, but I heard it."


Having an abundant supply of clean water can make a huge difference in comfort. Having a minimum supply of clean water is critical.

Remember that you have to have water to prime a pump (it may take several gallons), so don’t wait until you’re out of water to crank up the pump.

Other containers to use for storing water are your bathtub, your washer, empty soda bottles, buckets, pots, etc.


Make sure to have other cooking methods if your cook stove is electric. They will always come in handy. Camping stoves are a great addition tho the things to have for an emergency.


"Unless you are trying to ride out a major storm in a mobile home, or you are in a storm surge or flood area, the most serious hazards are after the storm has passed. Chief among the hazards is the mixture of working, non-working, and sort-of-working traffic signals. Many people don’t know to treat non-working traffic lights as a 4-way stop, and they barrel right on through. Others come to a sort-of-working traffic light and treat it as a 4-way stop. They stop, then when it’s clear, they go through the intersection. I did that one time only to discover that I had just come to a stop and then proceeded right through a red light. Big time stupid, and almost big time fatal.
There is also the hazard of trees and utility poles in the roads, or hanging just above the road at windshield-level. Flooded streets can hide all sorts of debris under water, so cross water with caution."

"If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure during normal times, it’s worth a ton of cure during bad times. Be careful!"

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