A basic emergency kit will help you keep your family safe and healthy in the event of a disaster. Start collecting the following items a bit at time to make your supply shopping stress-free and budget-friendly:
Water- one gallon per day per person for both drinking and sanitation
Pro-tip: fill the bathtub with water to have an extra supply for sanitation should the water utility be compromised.
Nonperishable food and a manual can opener for canned goods
Battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio, with tone alert and extra batteries, if necessary.
Moist towelettes and garbage bags with plastic ties for personal sanitation Flashlight and extra batteries
Whistle, to signal for help
Wrench and pliers to turn off utilities
Cell phone and portable charger
Fresh gas stored in a cool, well-ventilated area
Important papers such as property deed,
Games like cards, books or board games
Make an Evacuation Plan:
An evacuation could separate you and your family along the way. That’s why it is important to make a plan to reconnect. Discuss the following with your family before a storm hits:
How are you going to receive emergency alerts and warnings?
Are you going to evacuate to a shelter? If so, where?
What evacuation route do you plan to take?
How will you communicate during and after the evacuation? There are a variety of apps available to share locations between friends and family. The Red Cross has a hurricane app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Tidy Up Outside the Home:
High winds can cause loose items outside the home to act as projectiles, damaging you or your neighbors’ homes
Store furniture and outdoor plants in a garage or other solid structure
Clean up any debris outside of the home
Park boats and other vehicles or equipment in a safe location
PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON
Tropical storms and hurricanes can bring strong winds and cause flooding, which can damage power lines, resulting in widespread power outages. Preparing for severe weather early is key to keeping you and your loved ones safe and comfortable while you ride out the storm.
PREPARE YOUR HOME AND FAMILY FOR SEVERE WEATHER
Create a Family Disaster Plan
Decide ahead of time where to go if you are at home, school, work, outdoors, or in a car when severe weather hits.
Agree with family members on a designated place to meet if separated. Include a place directly outside the home and in your city or neighborhood.
Designate a friend or relative outside the area as your contact if you are separated.
Know the Difference Between a Watch and a Warning
WATCH – Conditions for severe weather are possible in the specified area within 36 hours.
WARNING – Severe weather conditions have been reported by spotters or radar and are expected in the area within 24 hours.
Inspect Home and Yard for Potential Hazards
Remove outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash cans, toys and hanging plants as they may become airborne during a storm.
Trim or cut down weak trees and branches that could easily be broken off by high winds and damage homes.
Keep rain gutters, outside stairwells, window wells, drain lines and down spouts clear to prevent flooding in high rains.
Protect Your Home's Openings
Protect or cover windows, entry doors, sliding glass doors, garage doors and gable end vents.
Secure Backup Power
Flashlights cannot power refrigerators and candles are fire hazards.
The American Red Cross suggests that permanently installed stationary home generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home than portable generators.
Download the Severe Weather Preparedness Checklist
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE