It is never wise to wait until a hurricane watch or warning to prepare. In fact, you will compete with many other persons looking to do the best they can at the last minute. Though early forecasts are made of the hurricane season. There is still a level of uncertainty as to when a storm or hurricane will come and how destructive it will be. Here are some ways to prepare for a hurricane in advance:
Make a Preparedness Plan
Nothing beats a well-thought-out plan that guides your household should there be a hurricane or a tropical storm. Rather than making decisions based on panic, having a plan will guide the following as you prepare for a hurricane:
- Emergency supplies needed for your household
- Family and national emergency contacts in case you need to reach them
- Evacuation procedures: the nearest shelters should be located along with knowledge of shelter procedures (COVID-19 considerations), supplies needed at the shelter, and the best route to get there considering potential road damage
Talking with your children about hurricanes is also important in planning. They should have a general idea of what can happen during a hurricane and know their roles in the family plan.
Store Essential Supplies for your Family
Emergency supplies are critical because you never know how long you will be forced to live without essential utilities. Your supplies should be constantly updated should your needs change, and they should be kept in a safe place. In case evacuation is required, have a bag of core items ready, to keep your family safe and healthy. Here are some considerations for your emergency supplies:
- Water: one gallon per person for several days to cover both consumption and sanitation. Ensure that drinking water is stored in clean bottles and kept covered to avoid contamination.
- Food: non-perishable items that are easy to prepare should be purchased. A 3-day supply in evacuation and a 2-week supply for the home is recommended
- A 7-day supply of medicine of both prescription and nonprescription medicines
- A first aid kit
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items such as feminine items, moist towelettes, garbage bags
- Extra cash because ATM services are likely to be disrupted
- Extra fuel for the car and generators
- A battery-operated radio and extra batteries for all battery-operated devices
- Chargers for all electronic devices
- Copies of important documents such as – prescriptions and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, passports, insurance policies. These should be stored in a waterproof area and can be in both physical and digital copies.
- Multi-purpose tools, wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- A sleeping bag and/or warm blankets for each person
- Baby items: infant formula, diapers, bottles wipes
- Pet food and water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Change of clothes and sturdy shoes should evacuation be required
Your family should know where the emergency supplies are, and a similar kit should be built for employees stationed at your business during a hurricane.
Prepare your Property
Do not leave it to chance that your home or business is structurally sound, hurricane winds can be as strong as 157MPH thus taking anything in its path. Take the following precautions:
- Check on your insurance policies to understand your coverage
- Trim trees around your property
- Inspect the condition of your roof and window shutters