How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season typically lasts from June 1st to November 30. For anyone living in a hurricane prone area, knowing how to prepare for the season can mean the difference between ensuring the safety of your home, family and possessions, and being able to make it through the hurricane or losing everything, or at the most extreme, not surviving. Knowing how to plan for hurricane season so that you can prepare yourself and not have to make a mad panicked dash to prepare yourself will make the entire season, and by extension, subsequent seasons, much easier to endure.

Here is a look at some of the things you should do to prepare yourself for hurricane season.

♣Prepare a hurricane readiness kit –

Everyone who lives in an area that may be affected by a hurricane should have a hurricane readiness kit. The practical thing to do is to purchase different types of non-perishable foods bit by bit, buying a few things each time you do your grocery shopping. Take advantage of coupons and sales, because this will save you a lot of money. You may even want to have some extra bread on hand that you can keep in your freezer because once the local authorities start warning area residents about a  potential landfall, people who haven’t planned things in advance will be rushing out to buy supplies, only to discover that many stores will sell out quickly because people hoard things in a state of panic.

You don’t have to live in close proximity to the coast line to have such a kit; you will need it if you are at risk for getting any fall out from the storm. Your hurricane readiness kit should include:

*A supply of water to last for a minimum of 3 – 4 days, and preferably longer.

You should have at least 2 gallons per person per day. That may be more than you need, but if the weather is really hot and you are living without air conditioning, water is essential for hydration.

*Non-perishable food that doesn’t need refrigeration.

Purchase shelf stable foods, or small individual servings of canned tuna, chicken, ham, salmon, individual servings of fruit, jello, and other things. Peanut butter is another good food to have on hand. You will also want to have bread, crackers, dried fruit, cereal bars and anything else you think your family may want to eat.

*Paper plates, napkins, towels, plastic garbage bags so you can throw things out.

*Hand sanitizer in case you don’t have usable water.

*Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, or anything else you can use to sleep on.

*Flashlights, battery operated lanterns and plenty of batteries.

*A NOAA weather radio – battery powered and a regular radio. The radio will be your link to the outside world in the event that you lose power.

*A generator will come in handy if you aren’t evacuating because that can provide you with power when there is no power available. You will need to purchase additional fuel to use with the generator.

*Fill garbage cans with water to use so you can flush toilets.

♣Preparing your home –

*Plywood to cover your windows to protect them from breakage from the strong winds.

*Hurricane shutters –

If you live in an area where you are likely to be affected by a direct hit, you may want to invest in some hurricane shutters. Doing so may reduce the cost of your home owners insurance.

*Purchase flood insurance. Don’t wait to purchase flood insurance. Having it well in advance of a hurricane will assure you of having coverage when you need it.

♣Preparations for evacuation –

*Fill the care with gas and fill a 5 gallon container so you have some extra gas.

*Plan an evacuation route and plot the route out on a map. Make sure that you know exactly how you’re going to get to wherever you are going and that you will have a place to stay.

*Make a list of all of your important contacts so that you can easily contact people after the storm. You won’t want to waste time looking for these things, and if you evacuate, you’ll need to have this information with you. Take family numbers, insurance company numbers, and any other emergency numbers you may need.

*Pack a suitcase with enough clothing for 4-5 days. Have it ready to go should you need to evacuate quickly.

*Gather all medications and be sure that you have a supply of any medications that family members take. You want to be sure you have enough to get you through the period when you are taking cover and afterward when it may not be possible to get to a drugstore during a power outage.

*Make a reservation at a hotel if you will need to stay someplace, or arrange to stay with family or friends somewhere else. You don’t want to have to be dealing with these things at the last minute during the thick of the chaos surrounding evacuations.

*Make sure you have cash on hand. If there is a power failure, which is very likely, unless you have a supply of cash on hand, you probably won’t be able to purchase or pay for anything because cash machines won’t work and stores won’t be able to use credit card machines.

*Purchase extra cell phone batteries and a car charger for your cell phone. Regardless of whether or not you evacuate, if there is a power failure, you may be forced to charge the battery on your cell phone by doing so in the car.

*Assemble a first aid kit so that it is easily accessible for any type of emergency. Include a thermometer, aspirin (children’s ibuprofen,) band-aids, cotton, gauze, antibiotic ointments, anti-itch creams, disinfecting wipes and anything else you might need.

*Unplug appliances if there is any possibility that you’ll get water in your home. If you are evacuating, you would also be wise to flip your circuits so that they are off. This way, you won’t have to worry about “live wires” coming into contact with water because this could cause a terrible fire.

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare things. You can purchase food a bit at a time and make sure that by the first of June, you have a good stash of non-perishable food and water on hand. You can also stock up on paper products when they are on sale so that you have a good supply of those things. Have your list of phone numbers, extra copies of your prescriptions, first aid kit, cell phone batteries, car charger, weather radio, radio, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and everything else all ready.

Don’t wait until the last minute to buy a generator or fuel, because these things will sell out the moment the warnings or watches are issued. The same goes for wood, hurricane shutters, roof straps and other protective gear for your home. Make sure you know of a safe place to stay in your home. It should be a windowless room on the interior of your home. Some people consider having a special place in their homes reinforced so that they can retreat there. A well planned out hurricane survival plan may mean the difference between surviving a hurricane and having to deal with whatever damage the storm may have inflicted, or losing everything because of poor preparations, worst of all, losing your life or that of any family member.