Hurricane season is upon us. Even for those who have weathered many hurricanes, the season can bring unexpected and unwelcome surprises. While it can’t prevent every emergency or guarantee that you’ll get through the season unscathed, good hurricane prep can go a long way towards preventing damage (or worse) and making sure that you and your family get through safely. Read on for hurricane prep tips.
Prepare early. Don’t wait until a hurricane warning is bearing down on you. If you live in a hurricane prone area, you’ll want to begin your plans early and have some plans that are set up for the long term. If you are just moving to a hurricane zone, make hurricane prep planning part of your move and settling in. This helps you avoid things like last minute rushes on the stores for supplies, being caught by surprise by an unanticipated need, and other obstacles that can derail your plan.
Get familiar with your evacuation routes. Plan your evacuation route early. While you may get instructions from your local government or other agencies, being familiar with how you will evacuate if necessary helps make evacuation more smoothly. As part of your route, decide where you will go if you need to evacuate and make any arrangements you can ahead of time. Remember to consider your pets in your evacuation plans. Make sure your car’s gas tank is full.
Stock up on nonperishable supplies. Have bottled water, canned or dried foods, and other shelf-stable staples on hand. Do not wait until the storm is on its way — you risk shortages and price gouging. It is recommended to have a three-day supply of drinking water on hand, along with food that does not need to be refrigerated or cooked.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. Check your emergency kit. You will need basic first aid supplies, as well as a supply of any prescription medication you may be taking. Also have a flashlight handy — preferably one that doesn’t need batteries. If you use a battery operated one, check that the batteries are good and that you have extras on hand. A battery operated radio, candles or lamps with fuel, waterproof matches, and basic tools like a wrench, screwdriver, and hammer are also key parts of a hurricane emergency kit. You may also wish to keep some cash on hand. If you have pets, ensure that you have a supply of food and emergency supplies for them as well.
Fill the bathtub. Even if you have bottled water on hand, you should fill your bathtub with water when the storm is on its way. This ensures you have another supply of safe drinking water should your bottles run out and the local water supply become unsafe or unreliable.
Inventory your property. It’s a good idea to have an inventory of your property. That way you are more easily able to make insurance claims if the need arises. Be sure to take this inventory with you if you need to evacuate.
Gather your important documents. Keep important documents in a fire and waterproof safe or box that is easily grabbed in the event of an evacuation. Include birth certificates, citizenship papers, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, passports, and deeds to property. You can also include important photographs or other memorabilia among those documents. If you must evacuate, take this box or safe with you.
Secure what you can. If you have time, remove lawn furniture, sports equipment, and other items in your yard that could become projectiles with high wind. Move items from basements and lower floors to higher ground or an upper floor if possible. Unplug small appliances. Think ahead to what could get broken or damaged, or what could cause damage, and take precautions.