How to Prepare For A Hurricane
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures according to www.Ready.Gov/Hurricanes:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Know your surroundings.
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- Make plans to secure your property:
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Install a generator for emergencies.
- If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
- Consider building a safe room.
Family Supply Checklist
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.
Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food per person
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Clothing and Bedding:
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
- A jacket or coat
- Long pants
- A long sleeve shirt
- Sturdy shoes
- A hat and gloves
- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
- Rain gear
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
- Cash or traveler’s checks, change
- Paper towels
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container*
- Signal flare*
- Paper, pencil
- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
- Household chlorine bleach* – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Medicine dropper
- Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
Other Considerations For Hurricane Preparedness
I think Ready.Gov does a pretty good job of providing the bare essentials of preparedness and if everyone was at least prepared to that level we would all be a lot better off. Below are are few other things that I would add to your preparations if it is possible for you to do so.
- 3 Days of extra food and water is a bare minimum…the more the better!
- 8 or 10 extra candles and a lighter out and ready for when the power goes out.
- Have a couple of LED lanterns for additional area lighting and extra batteries.
- A couple of LED head lamps area also cheap and great for working when the power is out.
- Check the oil and fill the gas in your generator, start it and make sure it is working and make sure you have enough extensions cords handy to plug in your refrigerator and freezer and a few lights.
- Fill the gas tank in your vehicle.
- Fill up at least an extra 5 gallon gas can, more is better!
- Check the your propane bottle in your BBQ Grill, fill or exchange if needed so you can be ready to cook on it if you have an electric stove.
- Tie your BBQ grill down to your deck or patio or bring it indoors.
- Check your downspouts and make sure they drain well away from the house.
- Withdraw at least a few hundred extra dollars in cash.
- Fill your bathtubs with water prior to the storm. If you have a “Water Bob” that is a better option.
- Preposition flashlights and candles in easy to reach places before the power goes out.
- Lay down any moveable basketball goals or sports equipment so it isn’t blown over.
- If you don’t have exterior shutters, at least draw the shades to help keep broken glass from entering the room if a window breaks from flying debris.
- Check home and self defense options and make sure they are ready to go.
- Have a Bug Out Bag packed and ready for each member of the family, in case you have to evacuate or if your house is damaged severely.
Are you ready for a Hurricane? If so please tell us in the comments below what you have done to get ready!
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