Even if you manage to ride out a hurricane safely, you're likely to be confronted with another problem: an inability to find out what's going on outside of your immediate neighborhood. Above-ground phone lines are often knocked down by winds, and cell towers and broadband Internet and cable TV connections are vulnerable to disruption as well.
Being cut off from weather bulletins in such a crisis can put survivors at even greater risk. That's why it's advisable to have a weather radio which has a special receiver capable of picking up NOAA broadcasts at VHF (very high frequency) channels, which cannot be heard on an ordinary AM/FM radio [source: NOAA]. The radios typically have hand cranks and/or solar panels, so you can recharge the battery even without electricity. Some models also feature alarms to alert rescue searchers, flashlights and cell-phone chargers. Prices range from $20 to $200 [source: Consumer Reports].