Hurricane

How to prepare for a hurricane

In this Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, photo, Roberto Clemente State Park employees re-stack cases of bottled water on a pallet after they were donated for the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, in New York.
In this Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, photo, Roberto Clemente State Park employees re-stack cases of bottled water on a pallet after they were donated for the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, in New York. AP

What do I need?

  • Water — at least a three-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food — at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cellphone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera or cellphone with a camera for photos of damage

What should I do?

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring inside anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • Evacuate if advised to by authorities.
  • Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
  • Because standard homeowner insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S.

What do I do after a hurricane?

  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather
  • Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
  • Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Let your family know you’re safe.

What should I bring to a shelter?

  • Water — at least a three-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food — at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Clothing and bedding: One complete change of clothing including footwear. Sleeping bag, blanket and pillow (cots for elderly). Cots will not be provided.
  • Rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • Personal items: Washcloth, small towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, toilet paper, towelettes, etc.
  • Medications clearly marked with your name, dosage, type of medication, and prescribing physician. You must be able to take all medications by yourself.
  • First aid kit in a waterproof box
  • Baby supplies: Clothes, diapers, formula, bottles, nipples, food, blankets
  • Important papers: Name and address of doctors. Name and address of nearest relative not living in area. Identification and valuable papers.
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