If you live in the Gulf Coast region, it’s best to be prepared for hurricane season. Preparation can help you stay safe if and when disaster strikes, and ensure your belongings stay safe as well. Remember these hurricane and storm preparation tips so you can stay safe no matter what Mother Nature throws at you!
If the Power Goes Out…
There’s a greater chance of power outages during storms. Now is the time to test your flashlights and replace old ones. There are many options available from small, keychain flashlights to larger, floating lanterns or rechargeable area lights. You should have spare batteries available as well. You should have AA, AAA, and 9 Volt batteries available. When looking for emergency supplies, such as batteries, make sure they’re not expired and/or damaged. Also consider a portable generator. This will help run fans, refrigerators, or any other important items in your house during a power outage. Set it up outside in a well-ventilated area and make sure to buy gas before the arrival of the hurricane. Now is the time to find your extra extension cords to hook up to your generator.
What to Prepare
Be prepared with water and non-perishable food like protein bars that do not require refrigeration or cooking before eating. In the event of power outage, store at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least five days. Storm preparedness includes being able to feed yourself and your family if the power is out; keep canned goods and bottled water handy for this reason. If a hurricane is headed your way, chances are you will have no access to fresh water after the storm. Fill up your bathtub beforehand so you can use that water to flush your toilets.
In case of emergency, you’ll want to have access to some tools. These tool kits should include basic hand tools that will help you but won’t take up a lot of space. Keep an emergency radio charged and ready for any and all updates from local authorities.
You will also need to stock up on cleaning supplies. When the storm is over, you’ll need to clean up any debris that was left behind. We recommend having a bucket/wringer combo and a microfiber mop head. You may also need disposable gloves, large garbage bags, and industrial cleaners.
Pack an emergency bag with clothes, toiletries, important documents like birth certificates, passports or insurance papers, first aid supplies, and anything else that might be needed during the storm. Hydration packs are a great way to conveniently store water without bottles taking up space in your bag.
Keeping an emergency contact list is an important step in preparing for any natural disaster. Disasters can strike quickly, and you don’t want to be left wondering who to call when your power goes out. An emergency contact list should include at least one phone number, email address, and physical address of every person or business that could help you during an emergency. Other important information to have on hand: bank institution contact information, home insurance phone number and policy numbers, and neighbors phone numbers and evacuation location.
Make a Plan
Make sure everyone in your family knows where they will be meeting up if they are separated during the storm. If there’s any chance of flooding or other emergencies at home, make plans to evacuate. If it’s impossible to find a safe place to go before the hurricane hits, head to the nearest high ground. And if you have pets, make sure their carrier has food and water.
The most important thing you can do is stay in touch with your local authorities. They will provide you with accurate and updated information about what to expect before, during, and after a storm, and if/when you should evacuate. Keep your emergency radio on hand to listen to updates. Also locate your phone charger and any extra battery chargers. Your phone will be a great source of find out information through local parish and state social media channels, as well as news outlets.
The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be in any situation.