Whether it’s during a hurricane, blizzard, power outage, or the aftermath of an earthquake it’s important to stay in a safe location and avoid any potential “Hot Spots”. A Hot Spot is any area or situation that while ordinarily safe, could put you in harms way during an emergency.
The best thing to do in an emergency is hunker down in your home (as long as it is still safe to do so) and wait for the bad times to pass. The absolute wrong thing to do is to go out to “check out the damage” or try to run out and stock up on last minute supplies. This is why we encourage everyone to have enough supplies in their homes to be self sufficient for at least a few weeks if not a few months.
When others run to the local grocery stores in anticipation of a bad storm you don’t want to be part of that crowd. People can do crazy things when under stress. Someone trying to fill a grocery cart before a hurricane and who is desperate to get the last few loaves of bread off the shelves could become a threat to you. Some would recommend going into a situation like this armed (if they were legally allowed to). I would recommend not going at all.
There are other things to be concerned about besides the civil unrest that could result from an emergency. One is the chance of getting caught up in the storm itself and being unable to get back to your home. If roads were to become clogged or otherwise impassible you’d certainly be rethinking how wise it was to leave home in the first place.
Yet still, people do this all the time. Many people headed out to the shore to see the rising water and crashing waves just before Superstorm Sandy hit. I actually know a couple of younger guys who went down to the waterfront in New York City to check out the waves shortly before the storm was due to hit. Of course they thought this would be pretty cool. They were almost immediately confronted by some very angry and short-tempered police officers who told them in no uncertain terms to Go Home. They were told they would not get a second warning and that if the officers saw them on the streets again they would lock them up without hesitation. Adding that they were quite sure my friends didn’t want to sit out the storm in The Tombs (the nickname for Riker’s Island Jail), a very unpleasant place. I don’t blame them one bit and am sure they did my friends a favor.
In an emergency, first responders like police and firefighters have enough on their hands without having to worry about people who should rightly be safe in their homes becoming a danger to themselves and others. When times are tough, give them a break and keep yourself out of trouble. If in doubt at all, stay home and avoid the Hot Spots. You can watch all the action on TV. At least until the power goes out…