Hurricane Preparedness 2019
Hurricane season begins on June 1st of each year but the season seems to kick into high gear mid August through the beginning of October in for the Caribbean and southern US states. As the first hurricane threatens to approach Puerto Rico and the coastal US, many families should prepare. Here is a list of things you may need, should a storm approach and what you need after.
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit
- Any medications you may need + prescription medication
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Battery operated radio
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
Preparing your Home
- Cover all windows and doors with hurricane shutters or wood. (Although tape can prevent glass from shattering everywhere, be warned that tape does not prevent the window from breaking.)
- Make sure all trees and shrubs are trimmed and clear rain gutters.
- Reinforce your garage doors.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, and anything else that is not tied down.
- If winds become strong, stay away from windows and doors and close, secure and brace internal doors.
After the Storm
- Gas: Make sure your car tank is full in advance, as many gas stations will run out of gas and there is a last minute rush. If your home water heater and/or oven runs on gas, make sure it's full.
- ATMS: Have extra cash on hand as most ATMs and cash registers run on electricity/internet and cash may not be accessible.
- Cell Phones: Charge your cell phone and limit use after power is out. Charge all portable phone chargers before the storm.
- A/C: This can be the most uncomfortable side effect of losing power during a storm. If you have back-up or battery operated fans, don't run them unless you are in the room. Fans create a difference in perceived temperature but do not cool the room; instead they create a cooling effect by dispersing the heat off your skin. It is said they can actually add heat to a room just by running.
- Water: Fill bathtub and large containers with water for washing and flushing only.
- Food: Turn your fridge temperature down and/or freeze any food or drinking water that can be frozen if you expect a power outage. Here is a guide on freezing food: Freezing and Food Safety. Have a cooler with ice packs prepared to cool your drinks and snacks after power has been out for more than 4 hours. And importantly, check out this food safety guide for when to discard your perishable food: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html
- Health/Safety: The CDC has a great guide on how to stay safe in the event of a power outage: Power Outages