Hurricane preparedness checklist
Preparing for hurricanes can be the difference between minor damage and catastrophic loss. The following information is intended to guide you in your preparation
- Create a Disaster Plan. Plan an evacuation route in advance and determine where you would go if you need to evacuate.
- Prepare a survival kit. Stock up on drinking water, non-perishable goods, a first-aid kit and medicine for everyone including your pet. Include extra clothing, blankets, batteries, flashlights and a portable radio
- Conduct a Home Hazard Hunt and make your home as safe as possible. Secure all objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture. Bring potted plants, mobile grills and any free standing, lightweight items indoors. Be sure all awnings are closed and secured. Tie down any other loose items that may become projectiles in a high wind.
- Review how to shut off utilities in an emergency with all family members.
- Make sure you have insurance policies with claim contact information, an inventory of your home’s contents, and cash.
- Exterior Drains. Clear rain gutters and ground level drains of any debris to avoid water backing up.
- Windows and Doors. If your home is equipped with shutters or panels, now is the time to use them. If you do not have shutters, close and lock windows and doors to minimize the chance of them blowing open, or of water being blown through gaps.
- Move Furniture and Household Fixtures. Move them away from exterior door and window openings. If possible, elevate these items and cover them with plastic.
- Secure Household Appliances. Appliances, including personal computers, should be unplugged and stored away in cabinets or interior closets.
- Test and Refuel Your Backup Generator. If you have installed a gas-powered generator as a backup power supply in your home, regularly test it to ensure that t is operational at the time you need it. When a storm approaches, run another quick test and make sure that plenty of fuel is available.
- Stay Aware. Stay tuned to weather advisories and evacuation notices. Also, know your community’s hurricane safety plan and develop a family emergency evacuation plan. Follow official notifications for a safe return home following an evacuation.
To recap, these are the things I’ll be bringing inside:
Locate flashlights with batteries
Fill car with gas
Charge cellphones, which may not work
(I hope you have unclogged gutters. I do, as of 7 minutes ago.)
As for food supplies, have 3 days of water on hand (1 gallon per person/per day is what the Red Cross says).
If you don’t have a normally well-stocked pantry, I would get:
- 2 To 3 Loaves Of Bread
- Peanut Butter
- Jam (Jelly Is Awful)
- Tuna (I’m advising my 20-something son to get tuna in bags. If there’s no water, he doesn’t want to be dealing with opening and draining a CAN of tuna fish.)
- Canned or boxed soup, that isn’t dreadful at room temperature
- Balsamic and white wine vinegar - to add to the soup to jazz it up. (You’d be surprised how much brightness a bit of vinegar can add.)
- Chocolate-Covered Oreos. (That’s not on the Red Cross list.)
- Red Wine (for its room temperature drinkability, of course)
I would also look for any other easily-opened canned food that can eaten unwarmed, if necessary. And take today to bake something wonderful that can be held at room temperature - cookies, coffee cake, muffins.
More information here.
I hope you have someone warm and wonderful to ride out the storm with (OR TO EVACUATE WITH, if that's what you're instructed to do). H has already told me there will be no board games. >:-( But if he wants me to jazz up his canned chili with vinegar, he better be ready to play this. Or I may not tell him where those Oreos are…)