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A Supply Checklist for Hurricane Season

Now that hurricane season is upon us, it’s time to check your supplies and make sure that you are prepared before a hurricane is announced. Follow this checklist on what to do to ready your home and what supplies to purchase to ready yourself.

What To Do To Prepare for a Hurricane

  1. Use the NOAA Weather Radio station to keep up to date on critical information about developing storms
  2. Clear your property of personal items (furniture, gardening supplies, etc.) and other debris (downed tree branches, loose paving stones, etc.) that might be picked up by strong winds
  3. Secure all doors and windows to your home; use hurricane shutters or plywood to prevent damage to windows
  4. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings; in the event that power is lost, they will keep food colder for longer
  5. Turn off and bring inside all propane tanks for grills and outdoor heaters
  6. Fill your car’s gas tank (but do not store loose cans of extra gasoline in the car)
  7. Clean your bathtub thoroughly and fill it with water; it can be used to flush your toilet in the advent of a water-supply outage
  8. Purchase flood insurance; regular homeowners insurance does not cover damages from floods, hurricanes, and most other natural disasters

What to Buy to Prepare for a Hurricane

  1. A three to seven day supply of water, assuming one gallon of water per day per person
  2. A three to seven day supply of food, particularly easy to prepare, non-perishable foods; remember that you may not have access to a stove or cooking fire
  3. A strong LED flashlight for each person in the house; these can double as communal area lamps if shone into a bottle of water
  4. A battery or crank powered radio to receive updates on the storm’s progression; a NOAA Weather Radio is preferable, as the National Weather Station will provide frequent and accurate assessments of the storm’s condition
  5. Extra batteries for all electronic devices
  6. First aid kits with extra bandages; lacerations from flying debris are one of the most common minor injuries during a hurricane
  7. A seven-day supply of any medications being taken by occupants of your household, along with extra applicators if necessary
  8. A multipurpose tool with a knife, screwdriver, and can opener
  9. Personal hygiene and toiletry items
  10. Cell phones with backup batteries and “on the go” chargers
  11. Extra cash in the advent of prolonged local power loss in the aftermath of the storm
  12. Emergency blankets in case of heat loss
  13. Paper maps of the area in case of an evacuation order after power has been lost
  14. Supplies for babies (extra bottles, formula, baby food, and diapers)
  15. Supplies for pets (extra collars, leashes, food, carriers, and food bowls)
  16. Extra clothing geared for cold and rainy weather; without heat temperatures may drop well below your area’s summer average
  17. A camera for taking photos of the damage to submit to your flood insurance company

Though this is a list of the basic things to do and buy for a hurricane, they are not everything you will need. Take care to plan ahead for what you and other occupants will need to keep yourselves entertained during a protracted hurricane. Consider stocking your home with board games, puzzles, books, and other activities that do not require power. While it may sound like a good idea to stock up on movies to watch on laptops with backup batteries, it is unwise to waste power on entertainment; you may need it if the storm worsens or an emergency situation (like a downed power line) develops. Similarly, using an internet-enabled smartphone to browse the Web is not advised, as cell phone power will become a precious commodity in the event of a serious hurricane, and a necessity in all emergency situations.

Most importantly of all, stay inside during a storm! Only go outside if your current location becomes inhospitable or is at risk of major flooding.

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