4 Essential Tips for Hurricane Prep
Hurricane season is here and it's important to prepare. An impending hurricane is a daunting piece of news. But when you prepare properly, you can rest easier knowing you’ve taken the necessary precautions to weather the storm. If you’re not in mandatory evacuation locations, use these four tips to get hurricane ready!
- Gas up your car
If the hurricane becomes stronger before it touches down, have a full tank of gas in your vehicle. Being stuck is no fun and can add to an already stressful time and. I suggest going to the gas station as soon as the weatherman says the words, “A hurricane is approaching.” Gas is a fundamental resource to have for a vehicle, but it can also be useful after the hurricane hits to fuel any non-electric tools you may need. Stock up and take a few extra cans too!
- Reinforce your toolkit
Take the time to check on the resources in your toolkit and make sure they are up to date. First and foremost, a functioning flashlight with extra batteries MUST be in your kit. A flashlight will be the saving grace if the power goes out. Next up on the list: a working whistle. A whistle is a loud and effective way to communicate if power goes out or you need extra help. Did I mention extra batteries yet? Also make sure your wrench and pliers are functional if you need to turn off any utilities. Give your whole toolkit a detailed inspection to be completely prepared.
- H2O and food
This one is a biggie. Water is not only paramount for drinking, but for those of us who have lost power and gone through a hurricane, we know extra water is a luxury! Experts recommend having one gallon of water per person for a minimum of three days. But if you want to use the restroom and maybe rinse your body, grab more! Food is another key part of preparedness. You want to make sure you have at least three days of non-perishable food to get you through the potential loss of power.
- The item normally you don’t see on prep lists
It may sound silly, but if you are going to be without power either waiting for the storm to hit or after, you might be bored – or maybe you just need to take your mind off things! Load up on some games that require no power and can be played inside. Whether it’s playing cards, board games, or charades with a flashlight, you’re going to want to have something to pass the time.
- Have an evacuation plan
The NYS Dept. of Public Safety will have all the information you need on evacuation routes. If evacuation is recommended – leave! Have an evacuation plan in place beforehand, and rehearse it. Each family member should know exactly what he or she is responsible for bringing.
You should also know in advance where you plan to go. Are there relatives within driving distance? Is there a town you’d love to check out that’s out of the way of the storm? Evacuation doesn’t have to be total chaos. It can even be a last-minute vacation! (Just don’t forget to adjust your thermostat settings.)
- Trim your trees
Keeping the trees trimmed is a pain. After all, those saggy limbs don’t do much harm, except possibly to your curb appeal. But if a hurricane comes calling, you’ll regret that you’ve let those trees get out of hand. Hurricane-force winds can snap entire trees, causing damage to your roof or your cars. Overhanging limbs can tear down gates, break windows, and wreak havoc on your property. If you’re still at home when this happens, it makes the situation a lot more risky.
- Get a portable generator
A portable generator can supply you with power for your basic needs for 200 hours; that’s over a week! When your cell phone and laptop die, your food is starting to spoil, and you’re desperately in need of a cup of coffee, that portable generator is going to be a real lifesaver.
- Have an emergency plan
If you don’t have time to evacuate, pick a place on the ground floor of your home and stock it with emergency supplies. The location should be as far as possible from any windows – a hall bathroom is ideal. Prepare for a hurricane by putting flashlights, candles, and matches in the room ahead of time, so they’re already there. Bring any necessary supplies or medications you might need, so you don’t need to leave the shelter during the storm.
If the storm is expected to be particularly bad, you may want to have a mattress nearby. You can use the mattress to protect yourself from debris if it your roof is damaged or destroyed.
- Stock supplies
If your neighborhood is affected by a hurricane, your whole area may be without power, water, or telephone service for quite some time. Stocking gallons of water and lots of canned goods ensures that you’ll have enough food to last you through the disaster if it becomes impossible to leave the immediate area. Think ahead. Every family has a different needs; what can’t you do without?
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