Guidelines before the Hurricane: Preparation
It is important to be prepared to help ensure your family’s safety while reducing levels of distress. Being prepared—and calm—is crucial in times of emergencies. Below are some guidelines to help you make sure you are on track to preparing yourself for a hurricane.
- Your vehicle: fill it with gas and check the car battery. That way, if an evacuation is mandatory, your car is ready. Always comply with an evacuation order.
- Batteries: how are the current batteries in your radio and flashlights? Do you have extras to replace as needed?
- Exterior of your home: bring in patio furniture, plants, and items from your yard, and lower or safeguard any antennas to prevent electrical wires from contacting them
- Food: make sure to have a manual can opener, and stock up on food items such as canned goods, including fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, beans, and soups, as well as dry cereal, bread, peanut butter, and other non-refrigerated food items.
- Water: a gallon of water per day per person is recommended. Plan for at least three days’ worth. Purchase drinking water at the store or fill drinking water in cooking pots, Tupperware, or other containers.
- Paperwork: have your insurance papers, birth certificate, titles, licenses, bonds, etc. either in a safety deposit box or on you. Valuables such as jewelry should be kept in a waterproof container.
- Pictures: take photos of your home, both inside and out, for possible insurance purposes
- Prescriptions: refills prescription medications.
- Pets: arrange for pet care. Some shelters don’t allow pets.
- Refrigerator and freezer: turn them down to the coldest setting prior to the storm hitting to prolong the foods’ freshness.
- Sliding glass doors: wedge a dowel or broom handle to prevent them from coming out of their tracks.
- Items for a shelter: if you go to a shelter, make sure to bring drinking water, nonperishable food, medication, bedding, clothing, toiletries, flashlights with batteries, garbage bags, cell phones and chargers, disposable utensils and paper/plastic plates and bowls, and a radio with batteries.
- Let loved ones and friends know where you are going if you evacuate or stay at a shelter. If leaving your home, turn off gas, electricity, and water lines (IFAS Extension, 2005).