Surviving a Storm: 6 Tips on Hurricane Prep for Your Practice

By William Peacock, Esq. on August 16, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Tis going to be a stormy year, it seems. Per the Sun-Sentinel, this year is shaping up to be an active one, with warmer than normal Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a strong rainy season in West Africa. The hurricane season, expected to run from now through October, produces an average of three hurricanes that hit the United States every five years.

We won't patronize you too much here. After all, if anyone knows how to survive a hurricane, it's Floridians and the other fine citizens of the Eleventh Circuit. However, for those of you who just moved to hurricane territory, or those who are looking for a refresher course, here are six practical tips you may want to consider:

1. Illumination.

No power, no light. Former FindLaw blogger and hurricane survivor Robyn Hagan Cain recommends avoiding candles -- they are not only a fire hazard, but they produce heat in your A/C-free home. Flashlights, especially energy-sipping LED flashlights, are a better idea, as long as you have batteries handy.

2. Bathtub Not for Drinking.

Well, if the tub is really clean, you might be able to drink the water, but the real reason for the filling the tub, pre-storm, is for flushing the toilets.

3. Stormy Soirees.

Big thanks to Ms. Cain, who suggests hurricane parties. With food that will spoil (should you lose power) and time to kill, how about gathering friends, some booze, a charcoal grill, and pooled hurricane supplies, and throwing a stormy soiree?

Or, if you lack friends, Seth Porges, writing for Forbes, recalls the advice of a Hurricane Ike survivor, who noted that beer was frequently traded for labor and supplies.

4. Windows.

Many of you have hurricane shutters. If not, and if boarding up the windows isn't an option, try taping the inside of the windows to prevent shattered glass from piercing your skull.

5. Live in the Library.

After Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers surprisingly turned to public libraries for restrooms and help with filing FEMA and other related claims, reports NPR. The locations also served as gathering point for relief organizations.

6. Working.

Should the weather necessitate court closure, keep an eye on the court's website (public notices are on the home page) and the local news.

As for tips for saving your files, keeping your practice running, and protecting the tech, check out our related post on our Technologist blog.

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