Hope for the best but plan for the worst in disaster-prone areas.
Anyone who lives in the projected path of a seasonal hurricane should take precautions in case of disaster. Preparation decreases the effects of a hurricane on you and your family. Loss of power, Internet, phone and cellphone connections are common, as is contamination of water supplies. The National Hurricane Center recommends you assemble a hurricane emergency kit, whether or not you intend to evacuate before a hurricane hits. Plan to live for three to seven days without the conveniences of modern life. Designate a shelf, closet or area of a room to gather the items you’ll need if you leave suddenly. Does this Spark an idea?
1. Prepare a first aid kit for both your car and home. The kit should include bandages, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, scissors to cut the bandages, gauze, tape, pain relievers, antihistamines, latex gloves, safety pins, tweezers, aspirin, antacids and a towel. Include calamine lotion for insect bites, insect repellent, tissues and sunscreen. You can alter the contents depending on your location, but keep the supplies in a waterproof bag or plastic container. In preparation for a storm, fill any prescriptions and keep them nearby. If you need to evacuate, take them with you.
2. Stock up on bottled water well in advance of the storm. According to the American Red Cross, plan on using one gallon of water per person per day — half for drinking and half for cleaning.
3. A flashlight is important when your electricity goes; include one for every member of the family, as well as a battery-operated radio so you can get updates on the storm. Keep a supply of extra batteries. Add a Swiss Army knife that has all sorts of tools on it to your emergency kit. Waterproof matches and a lighter come in handy for light and for cooking. Buy antibacterial wipes to sanitize your hands and body.
4. Keep a fire extinguisher at hand. If you have children, pack something to keep them entertained. Place your important personal documents in a waterproof container: passports, birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, deeds, insurance papers, wills and bank information.
5. If you lose power or evacuate to a shelter, you won’t be able to cook. Be prepared with nonperishable foods. Include energy bars, crackers, peanut butter, nuts, canned and fresh fruit and vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, cereal and snacks. Go to the dollar store and stock up on plastic utensils, paper plates, plastic bags and napkins. Pack a can opener for your canned goods. Stock up on pet food for your animals, baby food and diapers for infants,
6. Have every member of the family pack a backpack with clothing. You may not able to bathe for a few days. Include undergarments. Pack sturdy or waterproof shoes. Bring a sleeping bag or blankets and pillows and be prepared for more rain by packing a raincoat.
7. Gather cash in small bills. If the power is out, you may not be able to use the ATM or your credit cards.