10 Quick Tips to Help You Prepare for Hurricane Season
- Stock up on supplies – batteries, water and non-perishable food. If you wait until a hurricane is approaching, your chances of finding the items you need are not ideal.
- But a small plastic carrying case for your important papers. Keep it filled and updated during hurricane season so all you have to do is grab and go if you have to evacuate.
- Save ice. Start using ice that builds up in your ice maker. Fill up several plastic bags with ice and store them in your freezer.
- Have at least two coolers. One for drinks and one for food. You might also want to have a third cooler on hand for the stuff you will use most often. That way you aren’t opening all the coolers frequently and letting the ice melt.
- If it gets really dark when there’s no electricity. Battery and solar operated light products are much better than candles. Make sure you have at least one per person.
- Your cordless phone won’t work without electricity. Make sure you can communicate with loved ones. Have a phone with a regular cord. They’re very inexpensive and can be your communication lifeline in an emergency.
- Pets are family too. Make sure you have a pet carrier or transportation device for each pet in your home along with a plan for your pets should a disaster occur.
- Cash is a must. ATM machines don’t work when the electricity is out. Sock away some bucks in that plastic carrying case (see tip #2) so you’ll never be caught shorthanded.
- When preparing your home, don’t forget to look up. Check those trees and tree limbs. Trim those that could damage your house.
- Your garage door is a vulnerable wind entry point during a hurricane. Make sure you have it reinforced to prevent collapse.
Your Home is Important so Protect It
- Have at least 4-6 large gas cans available. You’ll need to get around and many gas stations may not be available.
- Have 4-6 large plastic storage bins empty and available. You’ll want to fill up at least two with water last minute. The others will be handy to have for keeping valuables dry.
- If you have a gas grill, buy an extra full tank. If you have a coal grill, buy extra coals.
- If you are in the market for a new refrigerator, buy a good energy efficient one. When a storm is coming, turn your fridge/freezer temps down to their coldest settings 12-24 hours before the storm hits.
- Take a hose and blast water around your door frames and windows as hard as you can. Then look for any signs of water inside. If you find any, figure out a way to seal it well.
- If you have any double doors, get extra ceiling and floor bolts to anchor them well.
- Brace your garage door. Find a way to anchor the garage door to the frame because that’s usually where the system fails – the wind pushes the door off the track.
- Bring in any lawn furniture, trampolines or other potential missiles you have outside.
Got a Pet? Get a Pet Disaster Plan
Before the Disaster
- Make sure your pets are current on their vaccinations as pet shelters may require proof
- Have a current photograph
- Keep a collar with ID on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet
- Have pet carrier(s) – carriers should be large enough for each animal to stand and turn around
- Plan your evacuation strategy.
During the Disaster
- Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have: Proper ID collar and rabies tag; proper ID on all belongings; a carrier; a leash; an ample supply of food, water and bowls; necessary medications; specific care instructions, and newspapers or trash bags for clean up. Pet shelters are filled on a first-come basis so call ahead to determine availability
- Bring pets indoors well in advance of a storm – reassure them and remain calm.
After the Disaster
- Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home – often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost. Also, downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water, and debris can all pose a threat to animals.
- If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered.
- After a disaster, animals can become aggressive or defensive – monitor their behavior.
[Source: National Hurricane Center]
Hurricane Disaster Supply Kit Checklist
[Source: National Hurricane Center]