The hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and ends on November 30.
You can’t predict if you’ll be affected by hurricanes this season, but you can get ready for one
- Refine your emergency plans
- Build a kit
- Prepare your house and buy necessary materials
- Build up food reserves
- Stash cash
3-5 DAYS PRIOR TO A HURRICANE:
- Buy fuel and propane
- Get hurricane materials ready for installation
- Get more Cash
- Stock your cupboards and start making ice
- Start home preparations
1-2 DAYS PRIOR TO A HURRICANE:
- Outdoor preparations (windows/doors, tinaco, final check)
- Indoor preparations (furniture, buckets of water, charge cell phone)
Refine Your Emergency Plans
- Develop an evacuation plan: Identify a location where family will meet should you need to evacuate your home. Do a test run.
- Create a family communication plan: Designate an out-of-area contact that household members can each notify when they are safe. Program this contact and other emergency numbers into cellphone and create a paper version to keep handy.
- Make special plans for special needs. Customize your plan to consider the needs (special foods, medicines, etc.) of those who may need extra support in an emergency: older family members, those with disabilities, infants, pets, etc.
Build A Kit
After a hurricane, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours….but up to 3 weeks.
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put as many of the supplies as you can into one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A hurricane kit should include the following items:
- Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least one week, for drinking and sanitation
- Food – two to three week supply of non-perishable food (human & animal)
- Cash – enough to last for several weeks
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities
- Buckets (can be used for bailing, or as a toilet)
- Grill for cooking after the storm is over and power has not been restored
- Rope/close line
- Hammer, nails, plastic zip ties – in case you need to further secure doors & windows during the hurricane
- Sand bags – to block water from coming in
- And don’t forget to have the tools you need to get out of your house. With all the rain every door is going to swell no matter how well they are sealed. Hatchet, machete, screwdriver, pliers, cordless electric drill
Prepare your house & buy necessary materials
- Check caulk on windows and doors. Re-apply if necessary.
- Windows and Doorways – If you have any large glass windows or doors, you need to plan your protection strategy well in advance. Determine if hurricane shutters or plywood are your best option.
- Buy plywood and mounting materials now. Practice putting them on your windows/doors.
3/4″ plywood (no less thickness) painted on both sides with varnish to impede warping. Cut in advance to the exact size of the openings.
- Collect 5-gallon buckets with lids – They’re great for storing clean clothes, food supplies, water, towels and rags, important papers, and for using as an emergency toilet with a trash bag liner.
- Generator – If you are thinking about an alternate power supply now is the time to start shopping. You also need enough gas to keep the generator running. If you already have a generator now is the time to make sure it is working properly.
- Grill – this will come in handy for cooking and boiling water after the storm. Be sure you have enough carbon/wood or propane.
Build up food reserves
- Get you a reserve built up. Canned foods, crackers, cookies, Ready-to-eat meals. And be sure and have a good can opener and knife.
- Peanut butter
- Nuts and trail mixes
- Granola/power bars
- Dried fruits
- Canned foods (tuna, salmon, chicken, vegetables, soups, chili)
- Instant soup mixes
- Bottled water
- Sports drinks
- Shelf stable milk
- Sugar, salt and pepper
- Boxed potatoes
- Dried beans
- Everyone makes a run on the ATM’s and banks right before the storm. Make sure that you have a good supply on hand NOW.
- If power is lost for days, only cash will be accepted for purchases. It’s wise to have small bills, as change may become scarce
3-5 DAYS BEFORE A HURRICANE
Buy fuel and propane
- Buy fuel for car, generator & propane for the grill
Get hurricane materials ready for installation
- If you have hurricane shutters start closing the non-essential windows
- If you are using plywood be sure to have it organized and ready to mount. You may want to start mounting it on non-essential windows
Get more cash
- Make sure you have enough cash on hand. If there is no power, you cannot get money from the ATM machines!
Stock your cupboards & start making ice
- Make a trip to the grocery store. It is a good idea to buy fruits that do not need refrigeration – Apples, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, kiwi, pears, plums or avocados.
- Fill empty 1 & 2 liter bottles with water and put in the freezer. You can use the ice in coolers or to keep your fridge temperature from dropping too quickly.
Start Home preparations
- Move all outdoor furniture and anything that could become flying debris into storage
- Disconnect and store gas tanks, especially those not in enclosed space
- Trim trees with weak branches that could become missile
1-2 DAYS BEFORE A HURRICANE
- Close shutters & hang plywood
- Fill and secure tinaco
- Final check to make sure everything is secured and will not become a flying hazard
- Raise furniture above ground level, concrete blocks can serve this purpose.
- Fill buckets and bathtub with water. The water can be boiled and used for drinking & cooking, to flush toilets, sponge bath, clean-ups, etc.
- Charge cell phone and power tools