Saturday, May 11, 2019

Preparing for Hurricane Season

The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts in a few short weeks. Now is a good time to inventory your Home Emergency Supply Kit to avoid long lines at the store if or when a hurricane is heading in our direction. 

While we cannot control Mother Nature, we can prepare just in case we get a visit from Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and/or Wendy.
  • Food and water
  • Manual can opener
  • Utensils
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated Radio
  • Batteries – AAA, AA, C, D, other
  • Cash in small denominations and coins
  • Unscented liquid household bleach (for water purification)
  • Personal hygiene articles: toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, soap, feminine supplies
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Heavy gloves
  • Warm clothes, a hat, rain gear
  • Local map
  • Extra eye glasses, hearing aids, other vital personal items
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape, utility knife (for covering broken windows)
  • Tools including pliers, a shut-off wrench (for turning off utilities, if needed)
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Extra keys to your house or vehicle
  • Copy of important documents and phone numbers
  • Paper towels, aluminum foil
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Paper, pencils, pens
  • Various sizes of plastic bags for waste and sanitation
  • Diapers and other items for babies and children (if needed)
  • Special-needs items for family members with mobility problems, such as an extra
  • Cane or manual wheelchair in case there is no power for recharging
  • Tent or tarp for shelter
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Pet supplies – food, litter, disposable waste bags, pet medication (if needed)
  • Plastic storage container
  • Signal flare
  • Needles and thread
  • 2 pairs of disposable gloves
  • Sterile dressings
  • Gauze bandages
  • Cleansing agent – soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Adhesive tape – 2-inch width
  • Eye wash solution, eye drops
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Over-the-counter medicines (aspirin, pain reliever, laxative, anti-diarrhea, antacid)     
  • Daily prescriptions (insulin, heart medicine, asthma inhalers)
  • Prescribed medical supplies (glucose monitor, blood pressure equipment)
  • For each pet, get a carrier or crate large enough for the pet to stand up & turn around inside.
  • Have a leash or muzzle on hand to help control your dog.
  • Newspapers, plastic bags, cleansers, and kitty litter and disinfectant available for waste
  • Sufficient amounts of pet food, water, and special medications on hand
  • Be sure your pet’s rabies and other vaccinations are current. The collar should have a license tag.
  • Gather your pet’s ID and medical records and store in a waterproof package. Include a recent photo of you and your pet with a description and copy of current vaccinations.
  • Ask local shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster.
  • Ready-to-eat canned proteins or meats, fruits, vegetables
  • Canned or boxed juices, milk, soup
  • High-energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix 
  • Comfort foods such as hard candy, sweetened cereals, candy bars, cookies
  • Dried foods (avoid high salt instant meals that do not require cooking or water
  • Portable propane stove and propane bottles
  • Vitamins
  • Protein or fruit bars, nuts
  • Storage sacks with zip locks and utensils such as a picnic knife
  • Food and water shelf life: write the date you store the food and water on each container. 
  • Store one gallon of water per person and per pet per day
  • Seal containers tightly in a clean food grade plastic container, label with a date and store in a cool, dark place.
  • Rotate water supplies every six months (water can develop bacteria or algae from microscopic cracks in containers).
  • Keep a small bottle of unscented liquid bleach to purify water. (Add eight drops of bleach to one gallon of water. Shake or stir and allow to stand 30 minutes). 
  • Birth certificates, adoption papers
  • Marriage certificate
  • Social Security cards
  • Military discharge
  • Health insurance ID cards
  • Life insurance policies
  • Auto registration/ownership papers, auto insurance policies
  • Naturalization documents
  • Power of attorney
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Passport
  • Real estate deeds
  • Previous year tax returns
  • Contact info of your attorney
  • Inventory of valuables with photographs and videotapes
  • Determine the best two escape routes from your home.
  • Plan where to meet if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places --- one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood.
  • Designate a contact person far enough away not to be affected by the same emergency. Instruct family members to call this person and tell them where they are.
  • If you have a cell phone, include an emergency contact. Put the letters “ICE” for “In Case of Emergency” before a person’s name to let rescuers know whom to contact.
  • Have a cell phone charger available if there is power. Some radios have cell phone chargers via battery.
  • If your area code is overloaded, you can contact your cell phone company and get an area code of the locale where you evacuated. Calls should be forwarded and thus allow you to get a call.
  • Keep a list of toll-free and local phone numbers for help when posted on TV or radio.
  • Start a file system for contacts made with insurance, police, etc.
  • Consider battery-powered walkie-talkies
  • Carry Change of Address cards and complete as soon as possible, if needed. 
  • Some water, food, and manual can opener
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Whistle
  • Personal medications and prescriptions
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle
  • Walking shoes, warm clothes, a hat, and rain gear
  • Extra prescription eyeglasses, hearing aid, or vital personal items
  • Toilet paper, plastic bags, and other hygiene supplies
  • Dust mask
  • Pocket knife
  • Paper, pens, and tape for leaving messages
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Copies of insurance and ID cards
  • Recent picture of your family and pets
  • Include a favorite toy, game or book and emergency card with contact information in your child's bag.

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