For those in certain parts of the country, hurricane season, June 1st thru November 30th, is not to be taken lightly. Not every hurricane is the same. Some pass through with periods of heavy rain and wind, leaving communities mostly unscathed. Others cause serious destruction, commonly including flooding in homes, cars, and businesses.
Whether you’ve already experienced a hurricane or are moving to an area prone to hurricanes, it’s important to know what to do in the event of a weather emergency. Being prepared can help minimize damage, including financial stress and anxiety over the thought of losing your home and valuables. Make sure your policies are up-to-date and you have proper coverage. Stay ahead of the weather and familiarize yourself with how to prepare for a hurricane, what to take to a hurricane shelter and what to put in a hurricane survival kit.
An Emergency Preparedness Kit for Hurricane Season
Your disaster supplies kit should be easy to carry if you plan to evacuate. But it should also contain enough for you and your family to last a few days.
The hurricane survival kit should contain a one-day supply of perishable foods and snacks that you can eat in the first 24 hours. It should also include non-perishable foods that can last several days, and plenty of bottled water. Plan for one gallon per person per day of water for drinking and for freshening up. Freeze-dried food packets are a good idea because they take up little space and weight but offer satisfying meals. If you have a grill make sure there’s extra charcoal or gas. Don’t forget to have a gill proof pot and pan to heat up food and boil water if you run out.
You may also want to include a first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries, chargers, and a crank or battery-powered radio. Have cash, a list of telephone numbers and contact information, and important paperwork in a waterproof envelope.
You’ll likely need to customize your hurricane preparedness kit depending on individual needs of family members. For example, some in your family or group may need to have their prescriptions, medical equipment, and prescription glasses or contacts. If you have an infant, you’ll need to have items like baby wipes, diapers, formula and baby food in your kit. Don’t forget about supplies for the members with fur or feathers, they need food and water too.
What to Take to a Hurricane Shelter
Whether you plan on staying at a hurricane shelter in your local area, evacuating, or even remaining in your home, everyone can benefit from having a hurricane preparedness kit. It’s about having items for safety and security as well as about gathering some personal belongings for you, your family, and your pets. Plus, some hurricane preparedness kits can also include items for your homestay.
Some hurricane shelters will offer some essential items during your stay based on the supply of donations they receive. However, these may not always suffice. Plan on putting together some of your own items for the stay. Your kit should include all of the above-mentioned items, as well as:
- Changes of clothing
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Chargers for your phone and tablets
- Important documents (ID, proof of residency and insurance policies)
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
You’ll receive a warning that a hurricane is on its way, giving you some time to decide how you will prepare. Some may choose to evacuate and head to an area that is out of the hurricane’s path, especially if it’s predicted to be a large, destructive weather system. Still, others will decide to stay put, hunker down, and prepare to ride out the storm.
If you plan to evacuate, prepare by giving notice to employers or clients, reserving safe accommodations and packing enough essentials for you, your family and pets to last for the time you anticipate being away from home. Also, be sure to safeguard or take sentimental items such as photo albums with you in case your home floods. Secure as much of your house as possible, especially by adding hurricane shutters to all windows.
Weather the Storm
When you live in hurricane territory, the best approach is to plan ahead and be proactive. Be aware that knowing these unpredictable storms can impact your home, work, and life. Stay safe and listen to the weather experts when they tell you to act.