Hurricane season is here! The time to prepare for a hurricane is well before one shows up on the radar and is moving closer to your home. Taking some time now to prep will save you a lot of trouble down the road. Now is the time to prepare.
This post was last updated on September 27, 2022.
I Lived Through A Hurricane
When Hurricane Harvey came to town, I was told that my home was not in an evacuation zone. At 1 AM on the 3rd night of the storm, I was notified that we needed to evacuate within the next 6-8 hours and to expect 4 feet of water in our home. Many of the homes in my neighborhood were damaged. Fortunately, my home was spared, but I still had to evacuate with two small children and multiple pets. The lessons I learned can help you be prepared for this hurricane season and other disasters that might occur.
Hurricane and Other Disaster Tips
These tips will save you time, money, and countless headaches should a disaster strike in your area.
1) Learn evacuation routes
Knowing what route will be used in advance is calming. Drive the route from your home when things are normal to familiarize yourself. Expect and prepare for traffic delays.
2) Fill your gas tank
Try to keep a full tank of gas in vehicles. The last thing you want to do is go to the station to fill up when disaster strikes. You want to be able to jump in your car and go.
3) Discuss evacuation plans and routes with your family NOW
Everyone needs a game plan that works best for their family. Having everyone on the same page prior to evacuating helps things go much smoother.
4) Fill Prescriptions
Fill all necessary prescriptions for a month’s supply.
5) Make a checklist
Make a checklist of what you need to do before you leave town in the event of an evacuation. If you can make this list now with a clear head, you will be able to trust it when you are in a hurry. Have more than one copy of the list. Make sure all family members know where the list is kept.
6) Create a Hurricane Supply Kit
Make a Hurricane or Disaster Supply Kit that includes:
- Hand Sanitizer
- Battery-operated radio and a NOAA Weather Radio
- Flashlight & Extra batteries
- Cell phone, laptop/computer (external hard drive), and wall/car chargers
- Extra eyeglasses/contacts
- Bottled water (1 gallon of water/daily/per person for 3-7 days)
- Non-perishable food and snacks
- Non-electric can opener
- Dry clothes & Bedding
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Games to pass the time
- Insurance information & Important documents
- First Aid kit
- Medications & copies of prescriptions
- Special products for babies, the elderly, and medically fragile family members
- Pet care items: food & water, crate, leashes, doggie waste bags, toys
- A roll of toilet paper & A roll of paper towels
7) Back Up Your Resume
Back up your resume and other important documents on a portable flash drive and keep one sealed in a zip lock bag inside the Hurricane Supply Kit. Also, it is wise to back up in the cloud if possible. This way, reconstructing a resume from scratch in a time of hardship is totally avoided. You may also desire to keep a copy in another safe place, such as a safety deposit box.
8) Purchase and Freeze Bottled Water
Buy a case or two of bottled water and freeze. (This is in addition to the gallons of water mentioned above.) This way, you can put the frozen bottles amongst your frozen and refrigerated food to keep them cold should the power go out. It also provides fresh drinking water for you. If tap water requires boiling, you will have water to drink as it thaws.
9) Keep Your Cell Phone and Electronics Charged
Make sure your cell phone and all electronics are charged to the max while you still have power.
10) Fill Bathtub With Water
Clean your bathtub and fill it with water. You can also fill buckets, sinks, and other containers. You will have this water to use for whatever it is needed for…washing your face, washing dishes, flushing commodes, etc.
11) Purchase Waterproof Bags
If you can find Waterproof Bags, use them for your cell phone, charger, important papers (especially if you have legal papers or health records,) medicines, passports, wills, vaccination records, medical cards, etc.
12) Buy Ziplock Bags
Buy some gallon-size ziplock bags. They are not as good as waterproof but better than nothing. Use them to protect items, just in case. Things like clean underwear, photos, food products, and anything you couldn’t fit into the waterproof bags discussed above.
13) Secure Outside Objects
Tidy up outside objects. If you can pick it up, then fasten it down, or bring it inside. Home damage is often caused by outside items being slammed against the home.
14) Take Photos
Photograph or video valuable objects so you can provide a list if needed. Please note that not all insurance policies cover flooding and other weather emergencies. But it is important to have a list of what is lost.
15) Be Prepared To Turn Off Power
Know where and how to turn the power off within your house if you see flooding, downed power lines, or have to leave your home for any reason.
Freeze a small cup of water. When frozen, put a quarter on top, and keep it in the freezer. Should you lose power, when it’s restored, the quarter gives you an idea of how safe the food is. If the quarter is still near the top, then food is still good. If the quarter is on the bottom of the cup, it means most foods are thawed and should be tossed.
Know Where to Find Information
One such site that gives all kinds of alerts is Emergency Alerts.
Time Invested Now Will Save You Headaches
Spending a small investment of your time pulling things together now, before they are needed, will save you headaches, frustrations, money, time, and potential heartache down the road.
Hurricane season is here, and we just never know when another big one might hit or some other disaster could occur. Don’t roll the dice with this one.
Make a Hurricane Supply Kit with your resume included in it today.
Another Post of Interest
This post provides more information about what to do after the storm and who to contact for help.