Hurricane season is off to a forceful start this year and in Hurricane Harvey’s wake in Texas, Floridians are making sure to take every precaution to prepare for Hurricane Irma and all upcoming storms.
In the event that your government issues a mandatory evacuation, do take that order seriously – pack up your car with your family, essentials, and nonperishable food and water and head to a safe hotel or a relative or friend’s house out of the hurricane’s reach.
If you are preparing to stay with your home and hunker down for the storm, there are ways to ensure you are absolutely prepared should the storm hit your area.
Below, you’ll find both a list of suggestions to follow to protect yourself and your family as well as an emergency preparedness supplies list to prepare so you are not left without the essentials.
GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS
- PAY ATTENTION TO THE LOCAL NEWS for updates on the storm and follow all instructions given by local authorities.
- Contact a relative or friend outside the storm area and designate them an emergency contact.
- Place storm shutters over glass doors, windows, and skylights. Keep all windows and doors securely closed tight.
- Nail plywood over windows if applicable as well.
- Pull all furniture away from windows as well as unplug and place any electronics and cords above ground in a secure area.
- Secure outdoor furniture or bring them inside when applicable.
- Fully charge your cell phone and keep an external charging bank ready.
- Fill all bathtubs with water in case of a water outage for plumbing assistance.
- Close all car windows and lock all doors, bring your car inside a garage if available.
- Stock up on flashlights and batteries; it is recommended not to use candles as it could pose a fire hazard during the storm.
- Use sand bags to soak up water around your home if you are in a low area.
- Prune trees and shrubs to avoid loose limbs blown around.
- Double check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Consider purchasing a generator.
- Fill cars with gas as the lines get long and you want to have the quickest evacuation method.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SUPPLIES LIST
- Gather enough water (1 jug of water per person, per day) for your family for at least 3 days
- Cash: Take out enough cash for at least 3 days in case ATMs go down after the storm
- Flashlights, battery operated radio, and batteries
- Food that will not go bad for 72 hours, ensure you have enough food to last your family for at least 3 days. Suggestions for food include: canned foods (soups, meats, vegetables, beans), protein bars, non-perishable foods that do not require refrigeration (bread, peanut butter, jelly, pretzels, etc.) – don’t forget a manual can opener!
- Baby formula and diapers if necessary
- Pet food, water, and medicine if necessary
- First-Aid Kit
- Prescription Medications to last for 2 weeks
Your safety and your family’s safety should be your number one priority. It is important to have a plan for when the hurricane hits, as well as a backup plan in case a mandatory evacuation becomes necessary. In order to give yourself reassurance when the stress of the storm gets closer, do your best to prepare well in advance – it is always better to overprepare than to be caught in an unfortunate situation.
IMPORTANT: If your local authorities order an evacuation, DO EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. Plan ahead for a place for you and your pets to stay, keep a paper map on hand just in case, and let your emergency contact know when you’re leaving.
Here are a few helpful resources for more hurricane information: