How to Stay Safe in a Hurricane

A monster hurricane is barreling toward the southeast coast...

Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina have declared a states of emergency... Each state is in the middle of mass evacuations as millions flee Hurricane Matthew. And residents of all three states have raided grocery stores – in some cases leaving only empty shelves.

These southern natives should be prepared for the possibility of a hurricane...

They know the drill: keep three days' worth of food, water, and medicine, make sure cellphone batteries and flashlights are charged up, and follow evacuation orders if they come. Hopefully, they even know the evacuation route they'd have to take.

For example, in my house in Augusta, if I know a hurricane is coming and it's too late to evacuate, I'll fill up my tub with water. That gives me an extra 60 gallons of water. I'll even start my washing machine and then turn it off once the basin fills. This adds another 10-20 gallons of ready water.

But thousands of Americans that live nowhere near the ocean are still at risk of a hurricane each year...

Folks who go on vacation to the Carolinas, Florida, or the Caribbean during hurricane season need to have a plan.

For example, dozens of cruise ships scrambled to reroute their itineraries because of Hurricane Matthew. Cruise giant Carnival (CCL) even sent 2,000 passengers north to New York and Canada instead of south to the Caribbean.

Other cruise ships from Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Disney (DIS) will skip or change the itinerary of ports that are most likely to be hit by the hurricane. And U.S. airlines are canceling flights to the Caribbean islands, with Delta and JetBlue even waiving fees for flights to Florida and the southeast.

Here are a few ways to be ready for a crisis while you're on vacation...

Pay attention and have a plan. Watch the weather forecast a week ahead of time. And when you're on vacation, listen to the longtime locals. They'll have a better idea of what to expect... and where you should go if disaster hits.

Have a plan for when you'll cancel your hotel room or flight tickets... and make sure you have the individual hotel or airline policies close to hand. Think of this as a "stop loss" for your vacation. If the situation keeps getting worse, get out of there.

If you're unable to evacuate, close and brace all exterior doors and windows. Then, lie on the floor in an interior room or a closet on the lowest floor in the house (ground floor or basement). Brace yourself under a heavy object. The toilet fixture is helpful for this purpose. It is heavy and bolted to the floor.

Don't drive over flooded roads. More deaths occur due to flooding each year than any other thunderstorm- or hurricane-related hazard... According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into flood water.

It's even more dangerous when you're driving a rental and aren't familiar with the road. Six inches of moving water can knock over an adult... while 12 inches of water can carry away a small car.

Know that it's not over until it's over. The National Hurricane Center notes that tornadoes are often spawned by hurricanes, and that some folks don't realize what the "eye of the storm" really means... As soon as the eye passes, winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force.

Get trained for disaster-preparedness. In my book The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual, I highlighted the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). It's funded through FEMA. But it's administered by local emergency responders, like your neighborhood fire department. CERT members receive training on how to handle a wide range of crises. This includes everything from natural disasters to biological attacks to basic medical emergencies.

Remember, older folks are at greater risk during natural disasters. About 70% of the deaths caused by Hurricane Katrina were folks older than age 60. And close to half of the deaths from Hurricane Sandy were folks aged 65 or older.

Be careful out there and have a plan.

Have you been through a hurricane or recent natural disaster? Let us know by writing to us here.

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What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
October 6, 2016

P.S. We cover everything you need to survive any crisis in my book, The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual. It details how to handle real-life crises, from what to do on a crashing jet-liner to how to ship your assets offshore. Use it as your go-to guide in almost any type of crucial situation.

For current Retirement Millionaire subscribers, you can read an electronic PDF of the book here for free. It might save your life.

If you're not a Retirement Millionaire subscriber, or if you want a physical copy of the book, you can get The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual by clicking here.