Hurricane Preparedness: Your Bathroom May Be Your Best Spot to Ride Out a Hurricane

In the Atlantic, hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th and the Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and ends November 30th. Powerful tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes can batter homes with heavy rains, strong winds and surging waves and anyone who lives in an area that may be affected must be prepared.

Hurricanes can and often do spark tornadoes along their paths. Although hurricanes and tornadoes are generally thought of as separate phenomena, most hurricanes that make landfall do spawn tornadoes. Knowing what to do and preparing for a major storm is vital, and finding a safe location to shelter in place during severe weather is crucial.

The safest location during a severe storm is an interior room on the first floor of a home, with only one door and preferably no windows. This is a typical configuration for many people’s bathrooms. A safe room should ideally be firmly anchored to a home’s foundation. Bathrooms are usually rooted and the plumbing within the walls is considered to add some structural strength, therefore the bathroom may be the wisest option.

Bathrooms have a toilet, water supply, and many times a bathtub also. A tub which is heavy can provide extra protection if you have to hunker down inside it. In fact, because the bathtub and toilet are directly anchored to the ground, they are frequently the only things left intact after a damaging storm has passed. When sheltering in a bathtub you can also cover yourself with a couch cushion to help with protection from any debris.

However, you might want to reconsider the commonly given advice of filling the tub full of water, preferring to fill only the sink for flushing or washing. Water that has been stored in tubs or sinks should never be used for drinking, as lead can leak from their glaze and into water stored within them.

A safe bathroom should be as impenetrable from the wind as possible. Therefore, if it does have a window, it’s best to have it protected it with shutters or plywood. Taping windows is useless and only makes it more dangerous.

In advance, put together an emergency supply and first aid kit, including a flashlight, battery-powered radio or TV, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information. Add adequate supplies of food and water for everyone who will be in the room.

If flooding is a threat to your home, be sure to turn off electricity at the main breaker. Open flames including candles and kerosene lamps should be avoided as sources of light. Listen to the radio and television for news of developing conditions, warnings, and instructions and stay in the room until authorities issue the “all clear” for your area.

DECOLAV cares about your safety and knowing that your bathroom may provide you with a safe location to help you through severe weather.

If you would like more information about how DECOLAV can help you make your bathroom a safer and more comfortable area to shelter, please visit www.DECOLAV.com.