Time To Dust Off Your Plan
It’s the height of hurricane season and most Floridians know the drill by now, but chances are it’s been a while since you looked at your hurricane preparation plan. Here are some things you need to consider when preparing for hurricane season.
Keep cash and copies of important papers and documents in a portable, waterproof container. Be sure to include family contact information, prescription medications and glasses, and forms of I.D. Before the storm arrives set your refrigerator to its coldest setting and make sure you fill your car tank with fuel.
Make sure you store enough non-perishable food for three days, plus one gallon of water per-person-per-day for at least three days. If you have pets or infants be sure to include enough food, formula, and water for them for three days as well. Keep disposable cups, plates, utensils, paper towels, and a manual can opener with your food supply.
Pack an extra change of clothes, closed-toe shoes, undergarments, diapers (if applicable), blankets and/or sleeping bags. Include personal, feminine, and oral hygiene products. Wet wipes are great for keeping kids and adults clean in a pinch.
The first step to protecting yourself is protecting your home. Make sure all openings (doors and windows) are protected and are able to lock securely. Trim tree branches away from your home, remove any loose yard decorations, unclog rain gutters, and secure any loose boards. If possible purchase a generator for your home. This is especially important if you or a family member rely on a home medical machine.
Keep a first aid kit and home safety essentials such as a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlights, and extra batteries in case of power loss. A few tool such as a wrench or pliers, duct tape, and plastic sheets will allow you to secure your home if it suffers damage. Additional items you may want to consider are dust masks to filter contaminated air, a whistle to signal for help, waterproof matches, and a fire extinguisher.
In the event you need to evacuate you will need to know the local hurricane evacuation route(s), especially if you live in an area with limited evacuation routes. For individuals with limited mobility or rely on public transportation, FEMA offers a commuter emergency plan, which is available for download. Discuss a family emergency meeting place beforehand and plan a strategy for reconnecting in the event anyone becomes separated during a storm and is unable to communicate through traditional methods.
Keeping your family calm and collected in the event of a hurricane may seem daunting, but small things such as toys, coloring books, and games can help ease worried minds.