Florida residents understand the phrase ‘the calm before the storm’ all too well. With the ever-present risk of hurricanes, preparation is not just smart—it’s essential. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to get prepared for a hurricane and create a comprehensive hurricane prep kit.
1. Understand the Risks
Recognize that hurricanes can result in various hazards, from high winds and heavy rain to tornadoes and storm surges. Understanding these risks can help you prepare your home and family effectively.
2. Secure Your Home
Before the storm arrives, it’s essential to secure your home. This includes trimming trees, securing loose outdoor items, installing storm shutters, and reinforcing garage doors.
3. Prepare a Disaster Plan
Create a disaster plan with your family. Decide on a safe room in your home and an emergency meet-up location. Ensure that every family member understands the plan.
4. Build Your Hurricane Prep Kit
A well-prepared hurricane kit can be a lifesaver during a storm. Here’s what you should include in your hurricane preparation kit:
- Water and Non-Perishable Food: Stock enough bottled water and non-perishable food to last each family member at least three days. Remember to include a manual can opener for canned food.
- First-Aid Supplies: Keep a first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, gloves, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Don’t forget personal medications and medical items, such as prescription drugs, inhalers, or epi-pens.
- Flashlights and Batteries: When power outages occur, flashlights are safer than candles. Ensure you have spare batteries for all devices.
- Weather Radio: A battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio can keep you updated on the storm’s progress.
- Portable Chargers: Power outages could last for days, so having portable chargers for your mobile devices is crucial.
- Cash and Important Documents: Have some cash on hand in case electronic payment methods fail. Keep important documents in a waterproof container. This includes:
- Identification documents (driver’s license, passport, birth certificates)
- Property documents (deeds, property insurance policies)
- Medical information (health insurance cards, doctor’s contact information, prescription lists)
- Financial records (bank account numbers, credit card information)
- Hygiene and Sanitary Products: Include items such as toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer, and soap.
- Clothing and Bedding: Pack a change of clothes for everyone and consider adding blankets or sleeping bags.
- Pet Supplies: Don’t forget food, water, and any necessary items for your pets.
This list covers the basics. Depending on your family’s specific needs, you might want to add items like baby supplies, extra glasses or contact lenses, or items for seniors or disabled family members.
Remember, the key to effective hurricane preparation is not waiting until the last minute. Keep your kit stocked and ready throughout the hurricane season.