When a hurricane warning is issued, preparation is the key to safety for you and your loved ones. Check on family members and elderly neighbors who may need help getting prepared. Establish emergency backup plans and stay up to date with local weather reports. In addition, we’ve assembled some helpful tips that will take you through the steps in preparing for a hurricane.
Assemble an Emergency Kit
Start your preparations by creating an emergency kit. This kit should contain all the essential items you might need during and after the storm. Ensure you have a supply of candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, and extra batteries, keeping these items readily accessible. Store your emergency kit in a safe location in your home, such as a closet.
Gather important documents, your wallet with identification, and some cash. Safeguard your documents by placing them in plastic sleeves to protect them against water damage. Don’t forget your phone, hand sanitizer, and snacks.
If you want to preserve anything that you can’t take with you, place it in a plastic bin, put it in your dishwasher, and lock the door. Doing this should make it water-tight in case of any water intrusion into your home. But of course, take all the important and irreplaceable items.
Prepare Your Home
Losing power is a common risk during a hurricane. Drop your A/C in advance and lower temperatures in your fridges. Doing this will help lengthen the cold air in the event your power goes out.
A clean living space can be a significant comfort during a storm. Avoid having things that may begin to smell, especially without A/C. Take out all garbage and wash any dirty clothes and bed sheets. Thoroughly clean and sanitize your bathroom; the bathtub is a great tool for holding clean water in emergency situations.
Pay special attention to your kitchen by disposing of expired food, washing dishes, and sanitizing countertops. If possible, use disposable dishware to conserve water. Sanitizing wipes are a great way to clean surfaces without using water.
Charge external battery backups and devices that provide light, but unplug all electronics afterward to protect them against power surges.
Having a stock of ready-to-eat food is essential during a hurricane. Cook meats and other perishable foods in advance and freeze them. Hard boil eggs for quick snacks on the first day without power. Ensure any propane tanks are filled; they can be used for cooking beyond just grilling meat. Consider getting an extra propane tank if possible.
Don’t forget about your furry family members. Stock up on pet food and set aside a water container for them.
You may not have running water during a hurricane. If you run out of water, tap your water heater; it can store up to 30 gallons inside. Get creative with the containers you have inside your home. You can fill old empty water bottles and other containers with water and keep them near sinks for washing hands and dental hygiene. Store cups of water in the fridge; any extras that can’t fit can be stored on the counter and used before any water bottles are opened.
Here are some other ways you can store water in an emergency:
- Fill clean tubs and sinks with water, lightly covering them with plastic wrap to prevent dust collecting.
- Fill your washing machine, leaving the lid up to prevent mildew.
- Fill buckets with water for flushing toilets. If you don’t have any buckets, wash out your trash cans and use them in their place.
- Line outdoor trash cans with sanitized trash bags, fill them with water and store them in the garage.
Your freezer can last a couple of days without power. Fill Tupperware with water and store in the freezer. These will help keep food cold longer and serve as a backup water supply. Ice is difficult to find after the storm, so don’t count on it being available.
When developing an action plan, you may need to create clear escape routes by temporarily moving furniture. Don’t neglect to secure your outdoor belongings. Bring in yard decorations, secure loose items, and lock gates. Potted plants, patio furniture, and grills can become dangerous projectiles in strong winds.
Consider Health Needs
It’s easy to neglect self-care under stressful circumstances, but the following self-care tips will help you weather the storm. Make a conscious effort to be well-hydrated before the storm hits, avoiding salty foods that dehydrate you. If you or your loved ones take medication, get a refill. Most insurance companies allow for two emergency refills per year.
If you’re considering evacuating, put a small suitcase and jug of water in your car before the storm hits. This way, if you decide to leave, you can do so quickly. Ensure your car has a full gas tank and spare gas container.
Finally, we recommend taking a video of your house and its contents before the hurricane occurs and before you leave. Walk room to room, opening cabinets, drawers, and closets. Doing this will help if you need to file a claim later, as it will show proof of items and assist your memory.
Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.