Hurricane Preparedness

Other

General Supplies

* Pack a “Bug Out Bag” and/or “72 hour kit”: This bag of contents should be packed with essential supplies, food & water, clothing, and whatever you feel is important to have during an evacuation.
* Cash: ATMs and credit card machines may not work for a while after the storm.
* Battery-operated radio: Make sure you have extra batteries too, so that you can keep up with news reports and alerts. Hand-crank radios work well, too.
* Secure a two-week supply of prescription medicine: Anyone on prescription medications, should pack a two-week supply of their meds in a sealable plastic bag, clearly labeled.
* Flashlight and lanterns: Make sure you have a couple of flashlights, candles, matches, lanterns and other alternate sources of light.
* Personal hygiene items: It might be hard to get to the store to buy toilet paper, tissues, soap and other sanitary items after the storm.
* Extra keys: Having an extra set of keys in your kit is a good idea in case people get separated or if they’re lost in a flood or the confusion.
* Pet items: Remember food, medicine and water for your pet, too.
* Disinfectant: You never know what mess you’ll have after a storm.
* Checklist: Customize your own hurricane preparedness checklist and print it out for your reference.
* Extra batteries: You’ll need extra batteries for your radio, flashlights, and other items. Get these early before they all sell out.
* Prepare early: Emergency items sell out quickly at the stores, so stock up your kit before hurricane season even starts.

First Aid

* Basic First Aid Kit: Keep this on hand for general purpose.
* Antiseptic solution: Keep this on hand to keep infections at bay.
* Allergy medicine: Storms can blow in all kinds of stuff that drive your allergies wild.
* First aid instructions: Know some basic First Aid skills such as how to stop bleeding, the Heimlich, CPR, and other basic aid in case you need it in an emergency.
* Mosquito repellant: If it floods — or even rains a lot — your area could have a serious and potentially dangerous mosquito problem.
* Prescription glasses: If you run out of contact solution or all the nastiness in the air after a storm irritates you, you’ll have back-up glasses.
* Adhesive tape: You can use this to fasten bandages, hold large lacerations together and even splint broken bones.
* Gauze, bandages and band-aids: Even little cuts and scrapes need to be dressed, so have a range of bandages on hand.
* Hand sanitizer: Nothing compares to soap and water, but in a fix, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will help.

Maintenance

* Plywood: Nailing plywood over windows is still the best option for protecting the inside of your house.
* Sand bags: If you live in a low area, especially, use sand bags to dispel water.
* Bring outside furniture indoors: Move patio furniture and pool toys into the garage.
*Turn off utilities if you leave: Before evacuating, shut off power, propane gas and water, but leave on natural gas unless told to do so by authorities. A licensed professional is the only one who can turn it back on.
* Anchor mobile homes: Pre-1994 construction mobile homes probably aren’t anchored well enough to stand even Category 1 hurricanes.
* Lock windows and doors: Lock up your windows and doors for personal safety and to keep the wind from blowing them open.
* Prune trees and shrubs: Loose limbs and plants will fly around easily when the winds pick up.
* Get storm shutters: Place these over glass doors, windows and skylights.
* Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Make sure these will work even if the power is out.
* Buy tarps and rope: Already have these items on hand so that you can start repairs as quickly as possible to prevent more damage.
* Fill bathtub with water: If you’re going to get hit pretty badly, give your family an extra supply of water by filling a sanitized bathtub.

Food and Water

* Food and water should last for 72 hours: Make sure you have enough supplies to last everyone in the house for at least 72 hours. More is better!
* Quality Water Filter: Clean drinking water is a top priority. Get a quality water filter!
* Use good food rotation practices: If you’re keeping an emergency kit stocked with some food supplies, replace food items every six months to ensure freshness and safety.
*Be aware of “boil water” alerts: After a storm, you may have to boil water for a few days due to flooded wells, spilled sewage and other contamination.
* Get out your ice chest: Fill an ice chest with ice or dry ice before and after the storm to keep food cold.
* Canned foods: Canned meat, fish, fruits, soups, milk and vegetables are all smart, easy-to-prepare options.
* Stock up on non-perishable foods: The power will probably go out, so acquire foods that don’t require refrigeration.
* Cooking without electricity: Fill your BBQ grill tank. Do you have a camp stove?
* Use camping gear: If you have basic camping gear like a small grill, you can make simple meals while the power’s out.
* Baby formula, diapers: Don’t forget to store enough baby formula, baby food, diapers, if this applies to your situation.

Evacuating

* Find a place for pets ahead of time: If you’re unable to take your pets with you, make arrangements ahead of time, and never leave your pet chained up / alone on your property. It’s cruel and inhumane!
* Get a real map: You may not be able to rely on your GPS, especially if roads are blocked or flooded. Get a real map to help you find your way out.
* Let someone know where you’re going: Contact family or friends before you evacuate and let them know your planned destination. If you lose contact, this will help alleviate questions and concerns.
* Sleeping bag: Get a sleeping bag, blankets and pillows ready if you have to evacuate.
* Keep your gas tank full: Fill it up all the way. Even when you’re on the road try not to let your tank get below half full.
* Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes: There should be standard routes, but listen to the news to learn about any new or updated routes. They will get clogged. Leave early! Consider back roads.
* Plan to stay with friends: Hotels will book up quickly, so plan to stay with friends or family who live inland at least for the first couple of nights.
* Leave early if forecasts look bad for your area: Avoid the worst traffic and road closures. Don’t wait if it looks like your area will be in the hurricane.
* Carefully inspect your home upon return: Before letting children back, watch for danger, hanging electrical wires, loose debris, broken glass, etc..

Paperwork

* Emergency contact information: Hard copy of all important phone numbers and other emergency contact information in your preparedness kit. Don’t rely on having a charged cell phone and it’s contact list.
* Prioritize what’s important: You can’t take everything with you, but consider important documents such as deeds, wills, birth certificates, passports, important financial statements, etc..
* Use a USB thumb drive: Download important data onto a flash drive and put it in a waterproof, sealable bag or container.
* Check home insurance: Do this before hurricane season starts, otherwise updated coverage may not take effect until the following year. Also look into flood insurance.
* Write down serial numbers: In case important belongings are stolen or lost in the storm, you might need serial numbers as proof for insurance.
* Video your belongings: Walk through the house and video everything you own. Great proof for insurance claims.
* Proof of residence: A driver’s license or mail should suffice.
* Use a fireproof / waterproof safe: A fireproof safe will keep your belongings protected.