Hurricanes aren’t unpredictable, but they can appear too quickly to take life-saving measures for you and your family. Being prepared and having a clear plan of action is your best defense. The steps below will get you well on your way to getting through a natural disaster.
Learn which radio stations will be broadcasting emergency channels. Find (and write down!) the phone numbers for emergency services. Keep a record of your family, including social security numbers, health insurance information and contact information. Create and practice an evacuation plan, and coordinate this plan with your neighbors. Read up on your city’s hurricane response plan, and determine if you need to make adjustments due to special needs in your family
Collect emergency supplies.
Plan for all emergencies to last at least three days. Any emergency kit should have a clean source of water—one gallon per person per day is a good place to start. Non-perishable food items should be kept as well (including a can opener). Do not forget to plan for your pets, too. A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio will prove invaluable for updates, but be sure to include extra batteries. A flashlight, a first aid kit, a first aid handbook are all important. Be sure to keep hygiene supplies. Do not forget all necessary medications. Include a pair of pliers for turning off utilities, and don’t forget something to keep yourself entertained such as books and playing cards. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas in case of an evacuation.
Brace the soft spots of your home.
If you don’t have hurricane shutters, board your windows with plywood. If you have a garage, reinforce it in a similar way. If your home warrants it, use straps or clips to secure your roof to the top of the structure.
Look after appliances – inside and out.
Unplug all small appliances. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the lowest settings so food will last longer if you lose power. Look outside your home too, and bring everything from your yard inside. This often overlooked step can minimize the chance of debris damaging your or others’ property. Remember that anything you can pick up with your hands can be picked up the hurricane as well.
Plan for long term outages.
Serious inclement weather can mean long periods without power. Consider a standby home generator to help keep critical appliances and electronics functioning during this time period. A wide range of generators are available to fit your needs, from smaller units that can keep just a few items powered to large whole-home generators that support your entire house running at full capacity