Essential items and planning
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST
First things first, STAY INFORMED. Information is priceless.
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Stay tuned to reputable news sources for the latest updates and developments.
CREATE YOUR EMERGENCY PLAN:
You should have a detailed evacuation plan specific to the needs of your family and, said plan should include designated meeting points and routes. Discuss this plan with your family members, ensuring everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. It would be a good idea to drive the route in a non emergency scenario. It's stressful enough to travel a route for the first time but, doing so during an emergency can cause an inordinate amount of undue stress. Be sure to prepare a list of emergency contacts, including family, friends, and local authorities. Printed pictures of family members and pets can be laminated and quite useful if the party gets separated.
You should have ample supply of non-perishable food items, bottled water, and supplies essential to your household to last several days. Shop early or keep these items in stock all season long in your pantry. Do we really need to discuss panic purchase and supply chain disruption? Store shelves will be empty as soon as there is a named storm with a designated region of landfall; if not sooner. Include a first aid kit, prescription medications, and any necessary medical supplies for all parties in the household. Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and a portable phone charger are items not to be neglected. Portable solar chargers are quite the rage these days and, rightfully so! Personal hygiene items, extra clothing, blankets, and comfortable footwear would great additions, as well. REMEMBER YOUR PETS, they're family, too! You should pack, and do, for them that which you would do for others in your home. Food, water, comfort, meds, and identification.
Reinforce windows and doors with storm shutters or plywood. These will help against damaging winds, airborne debris, as well as looters.
Trim trees and remove loose branches that could potentially damage your home during high winds.
Secure outdoor furniture, grills, and other loose items or store them in a safe place.
If budget and space allow you should consider installing a standby generator or acquiring a portable one. Be sure to educate all able parties in the home on its usage and capabilities. If using a whole-home generator, be sure to maintain a regular service schedule. If using a portable generator, be sure to test it before storm season, keep it in good working order, and have enough gas stored to operate the generator for several days after the storm passes. NEVER use a generator indoors!!
SAFEGUARD IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS:
Gather and safeguard essential documents such as identification, insurance policies, and financial records. Store these documents in a waterproof and portable container or a secure digital format. We personally recommend both. REMEMBER YOUR PETS, they're family, too!
Make arrangements for your pets in case of an evacuation. Too many times after a storm there is an overflow of population at pet shelters due to them getting lost, or worse, left behind. Pack necessary supplies for your pets, including food, water, medications, and comfort items. Keep your pets’ identification tags and medical records readily accessible.
FUEL AND TRANSPORTATION:
Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full during hurricane season and extra jugs at the ready wouldn't be a bad idea. Anybody living in a coastal region knows the difficulty of finding gas once a storm is announced. Service your vehicle regularly to ensure good operational order.
Identify alternative transportation options, if needed. Stay connected with neighbors: Establishing a support network with neighbors is always great, sharing contact information and offering assistance to one another. Apps that help with this include Nextdoor, Zello, and Facebook. Get prepped.