Preparing for a Hurricane
Building a disaster kit
Buy enough food to last a few days. Get canned food. Try getting food that doesn’t require water or milk. You will want to eat the perishable food first if the power goes out.
Fill up the bathtub with water. An average bathtub full of water holds enough water for about three days. It also makes it possible to flush the toilet.
Water heaters contain an average 150-liters water and that’s enough to keep one person alive for a month.
Make sure you have:
- A battery-powered radio
- Enough water per person per day to last at least three days (at least one gallon)
- Specialty food for infants or seniors
- Manual can opener
- Cell phone charger and a backup battery
- Fire extinguisher
- Pet food
- Jumper cables
- Cans of gas
- Physical map
- Extra set of dry clothes
- Tooth brush and tooth paste
- Prescription medicine
- Glasses and contact lenses solution
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Important family documents such as driver’s license or identification cards, proof of insurance, bank account records, proof of residency such as lease agreement or house deed. Medical records, passports, social security cards
- Grill or portable camp stove and charcoal for cooking/boiling water
Securing the house
- Cut down trees and branches close to your house and car. If a large tree falls onto your house, it can punch a big hole in the roof. If a large tree falls onto your car it can be easily crushed flat.
- Learn how to turn off the gas and power to your home. Make sure that all tools needed for the job are easily accessible.
- Secure your windows. Close all of your doors and windows. If you don’t own hurricane shutters, board up your doors and windows with plywood. This will secure them so that it’s harder for the wind and rain to damage your property.
- Reinforce the garage doors so that everything in there is protected as well.
- Purchase a generator.
- Secure outside furniture/recreation items such as trampolines, portable basketball hoops etc.
Making a plan
- Stay on top of the news. Once you hear about the hurricane you normally have several days to prepare. Do not feel that you need to watch the news continually as this can be stress inducing.
- Find the local evacuation routes. Check the websites of your local city and state to find information on what roads they advise people use when escaping from a hurricane zone.
- Discuss and practice the disaster plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows who to contact and how to get a hold of them.
- Inform your kids. Make sure they know enough information so that an adult can get in touch with you should sudden evacuation be necessary when you aren’t near them.
- Plan the location that you will evacuate to such as a friend or family member’s house.
- Evacuate if you live in a mobile home or RV.
- Remember to keep a physical copy of the emergency plan. You may forget over time, especially things that aren’t used in day-to-day activities. Once you and your family come up with a plan, write it down.
- Save a little money. Put some money away for emergency use the case of a hurricane.
- Keep all electronics charged fully
For benefit information, call the number on the back of your insurance card.
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