How To Prepare For A Hurricane or Other Emergency
If a storm is heading your way, you need to beef up on your preparedness skills really quickly and prepare your home & family for a natural disaster.
A hurricane is heading my way in just a few days, so I’ve been doing that very thing. While I’m not in a coastal location, hurricanes tend to bring crazy wind and rain inland for hundreds of miles. So, needless to say, I’ve been getting my prep on (was that totally nerdy to say??).
Emergency Preparedness When A Storm Is On Its Way
In most any storm or natural disaster situation, we’re all worrying about the same things: water, food, power, & shelter. Here is my hit list of things to do to get ready for this impending hurricane.
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- Take photos of loved ones.
- Agree with loved ones on preparedness plan, meeting location if separated, and assign tasks.
- Take a photo inventory of my home (including snapshots of serial numbers).
- Secure important documents in a waterproof/fireproof safe (and other less important documents in baggies.
- Stock up on the necessities (cash, propane for the grill, water bottles, milk, bread, peanut butter, toilet paper, gas in the car, and extra gas in gas cans (this is a good deal), bleach to purify water if needed).
- Plan and prepare food for 3-5 days including fresh (eat first), frozen (eat second), & canned foods (last). Pre-cooking meals is a good idea, as wind & rain may make grilling difficult. Don’t forget a can opener.
- Save water & ice: water in the tubs, water in extra containers/gallon baggies to save in the freezer (keeps freezer cold longer and gives cold water), and ice in baggies.
- Grab some coffee filters at the store to filter your water before you sanitize it with bleach.
- Have an ax handy in case you need to dig you or someone else out from under a tree.
- Add a 1/2 gallon jug to the toilet to save on water needed to flush the toilet. No one wants to potty outside if you run out of water in your bathtub.
- Gather extra batteries, flashlights, lanterns, candles, matches/lighters, board games or card games, and basic tools like utility knives.
- Charge an external battery pack for your phone (order one now if you don’t have one).
- Gather safety equipment (I’m bringing in my son’s bicycle helmet and husband’s hard hat in the event we have tornadoes or falling limbs).
- Secure outdoor furniture either inside or with strong straps to permanent structures.
- Prepare a safe place in your home (meaning I’m cleaning out a portion of our storage area located in our basement. Yikes!).
- Prepare a first aid kit, giving attention to band-aids, Neosporin, peroxide, antiseptic, tape, and gauze (love mine!).
- Write down important phone numbers & test walkie talkie apps (such as Zello).
- Buy or set out a regular radio. I know it sounds old school, but if the power goes out for an extended time, you may not have power or the internet, so a radio can give you news about the outside world. Bonus points if it’s a NOAA radio with crank or solar power.
- Make note of your utility company’s phone number and apps to report outages and check on updates.
- Know how to turn off utilities to your home (like water & gas). Make sure you have tools for it if needed.
- Rain may bring the bugs with it, so make sure you have enough bug repellent. (West nile was just confirmed in my hometown. Yikes.)
- Catch up on the laundry.
- Make sure you have somewhere to dry laundry if the power does go out. A clothesline and clothespins may save the day.
Prepare To Evacuate
I’m also prepping for the event that we may need to leave our home. Here’s my todo list.
- Gather pet necessities like food, water, treats, leash, medicine & bed/blanket.
- Pack bags for the family including copies of important documents like insurance cards, birth certificates, and ID cards for adults & kids.
- Document safe with copies of our important documents.
- Laptop & external hard drives (begin cloud backup if you haven’t already. I love and use Backblaze).
- Don’t forget sentimental items like irreplaceable family photos and favorite blankets or snuggle buddies.