In the article 10 Tips for Hurricane Preparedness we outlined different ways to give your home its best chance of surviving a hurricane. In case you haven’t seen just how rough a hurricane can get, check out our footage shot during Hurricane Florence to better understand how powerful a storm can be.
Depending on a storm’s strength and projection, as well as a family’s means, some people opt to remain in their homes during a storm. It can advantageous to deal with damage as it happens but also, leaving is not an option for everyone. Although you should consider leaving if there is an evacuation order, there are different ways to try and stay safe during a hurricane.
Below you’ll find a list of things to know and prepare for before you hunker down, suggestions from those of us who have weathered our fair share of hurricanes.
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1. Have a couple weeks’ worth of any medicine that might be need (for people and pets) as well as first aid.
- Don’t forget to pack puppy pads, also, if you have pets. When the wind starts to pick up you don’t want to send them into the backyard to do their business.
These are the puppy pads that I (Rachel) used during Hurricane Florence with our 4 dogs.
2. Make sure that your valuables are accounted for.
Your possessions should be inventoried, and important documents should be kept in a watertight container. Put them somewhere where you can easily get to them should you need to leave in a hurry.
- Along with taking care of valuables, make sure your pets are microchipped before a storm comes in. Every year hundreds of pets are separated from their families during storms and microchipping gives you a better chance of being reunited.
3. Assemble a “go bag.”
A “go bag” is a collection of things you’d need should you have to leave but there is no time to think about what to pack (or, in other words, when you have to GO!). It should have in it what you would need for 3 days. Clothes, water, flashlights, a charged cell phone and charger, along with critical medication should be kept in a bag in your car or near an exit of your home. You can also pack several “go bags” and place them in different locations.
- Ready.gov has a great list of suggestions for other items to include in an emergency kit at https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.
4. Be prepared for a power outage.
- Know where the flashlights, batteries, lanterns, candles, and other sources of light are kept. Standby generators are also something to consider. Tests generators routinely throughout the year to make sure they will run reliably when they’re needed. Also make sure that you have enough gas to run it for a prolonged period. Do not exacerbate an already precarious situation by trying to get through any serious storm without a generator.
- Before a storm you can turn the fridge and freezer to the coldest settings so that, even without electricity, they will stay cold for as long as possible. The fridge will generally keep food cold for up to 4 hours if left unopened and the freezer will stay cold for 2 days after a power outage. A cooler full of ice can also keep perishable food. Freeze gallons of water and leave them in coolers/freezers that are opened the least frequently.
- If the power goes out, make sure to turn off major appliances around the home so they won’t fry if there’s a power surge when it comes back on.
5. Cook food in advance and freeze it for later.
It can then be reheated on a convection oven powered by a generator, a grill, or boiling water.
- It cannot be stressed enough to make sure that you have enough food and water. Don’t rely on grocery stores to be stocked before, during, or immediately after a storm. Which segues into our next point…
6. Fill your bathtubs with water.
This water can be used to flush toilets, cooking, and drinking should indoor plumbing cease to work or your access to fresh water is compromised.
7. Move vehicles to higher ground.
Make sure there is gas in the car, just in case you need to use that go bag.
If you have other safety tips and tricks for riding out a storm, write to us and let us know!