Preparing for a Hurricane

The main thing is to be prepared and don’t panic. You will have plenty of time to get out of the hurricane path without undue stress and panic by being prepared and planning ahead of time. Keep in mind that material things can be replaced . . . a life can’t.

The key to hurricane preparedness is to develop a plan based on your vulnerability, make sure your homeowners insurance premiums are paid up to date and stay informed on the path of the storm.

Get your disaster supply kit ready at the beginning of the hurricane season.

The following items are necessary whether you are evacuating or not . . . keep an extra supply of these items set aside and already packed for hurricane emergencies. Food and water for 3 to 7 days (at least 1 gallon daily per person), non-perishable packaged or canned food (don’t forget the non-electric can opener), snack foods, paper plates and plastic utensils.

Take a trip to your drug store and replenish your supply of a basic first aid kit, essential medicines, toiletries, hygiene items and moisture wipes . . . make sure your prescription medications are up to date and your vehicle has ample gas to get you where you are going in an emergency.

Count on electricity going out and not having the luxury of ATM machines and working gas pumps. Even if you don’t have to evacuate, plan on alternatives if there is a prolonged electrical outage . . . for example, if your water runs on an electric pump, plan accordingly and keep lots of bottled water for bathing and to manually flush the toilet.

If you need to evacuate . . . have a list ready of those items you would pack right before you leave so you won’t forget anything in the panic of the moment. This list should include items like pillows and blankets, cash, credit cards, prescription medication and cell phone.

Many shelters do not accept pets! If you need to relocate with your pet, prepare a list of those places where pets are allowed way ahead of time. Make sure you pack all pet medications, an ample supply of pet food, snacks, toys, blanket and don’t forget the food and water bowls.

Secure your home, making sure to bring in lawn furniture, outdoor items and objects that can fly around in the strong winds and protect the outside of windows with shutters or plywood.

Since I live in Florida, I keep a bag packed with extra clothes, the toiletries mentioned above, copies of homeowners insurance, financial information, flashlight, battery operated radio, batteries, extra cell phone battery and sturdy shoes.