If you live in an area that could be affected by a hurricane or tropical storm, there are many things you can do well before a storm even forms to protect your family and your home. If you wait until the threat is imminent, you’ll be fighting crowds at the store and simply won’t have time to get everything done. You should have many things done beforehand so you can concentrate on any last minute preparations. This hurricane preparations list will help you get prepared ahead of the storm.
Plan Your Evacuation Route Before Hurricane Season Begins
If you live near the coast or in a mobile home, you will likely need to evacuate in the event of a major storm.
A mandatory evacuation may be ordered for your area. It’s wise to have your route prepared well ahead of time and if possible, leave as early as you can. The roads will be jammed and if you can get a jump start ahead of others, you’ll spend less time sitting in traffic. You should take important papers with you and any pictures or other irreplaceable items if time permits. The most important thing is to get out of harm’s way.
Plastic totes are a good way to help protect pictures and other precious mementos that you cannot bring with you. Put valuables upstairs if possible or as high as you can on shelves or in closets.
When planning your evacuation, take your pets into account. Your furry friends depend on you.
Food and Drinks
Stock up on non-perishable foods. This list is a guideline and you can tweak it to suit your family. Get a lot of bottled water. Not only will you drink a lot of it, but sometimes you’ll lose running water and will need it for other things, such as washing your hands and brushing your teeth.
- Bottled water
- Peanut butter
- Canned meat
- Canned fruit
- Canned vegetables
- Ready to eat soups and meals
- Granola and energy bars
- Fresh fruit that doesn’t require refrigeration
- Dry cereal
- Cheese and cracker sandwiches
- Baby food and bottles
- Juice boxes
First Aid Kit
Put together a first aid kit for your home and you should also keep one in each car.
- Band-aids, various sizes
- Sterile gauze pads
- Medical tape
- Sterile gloves
- Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Antibiotic ointment
- Anti-itch, rash cream
- Spray or cream for insect bites
- Cough medicine
- Cold pack
Basic Supplies and Other Items
When stocking up before Hurricane Season, you don’t know if you’ll have to evacuate or if you’ll be riding it out at home. It doesn’t have to be a major hurricane to knock out your power. You’d be wise to have things on hand in the event the electricity does go out. Before the storm approaches, remember to charge all of your phones and other devices. A fully charged portable charger is also a good thing to keep on hand.
- LED lamps
- Tool kit
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Garbage bags
- Duct tape
- Hand sanitizer
- Alcohol wipes
- Paper plates and cups
- Plastic utensils
- Hand and dish soap
- Manual can opener
- Sandwich, quart, and gallon bags
- Lighter fluid
- Aluminum foil
- Mosquito repellant
- Filled gas cans
- Rain gear
- Diapers, baby wipes, and diaper rash medicine
- Prescription drugs
You should take an inventory of your personal property. Making a list of valuable items room by room is the easiest way to do it. You should also take pictures and/or a video. Make sure to take this inventory with you should you have to evacuate. Having an inventory of your personal property can speed up the claims process and is helpful should you need to apply for disaster aid.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Homeowners insurance will cover the cost of repairs for hurricane damage. Review your policy to make sure you not only have structural coverage, but contents as well. It is important to note that your homeowners policy doesn’t cover flood insurance. That must be purchased separately.
If you have questions about what your current policy covers or if you need to make changes to your current policy, contact your insurance agent.
Entertainment During and After the Storm
Depending on the severity of the storm, you may lose power and/or internet and be without the technology we’ve all grown accustomed to. You may be in a situation where you’ve lost power, but don’t have major damage. It can take a long time for crews to restore electricity, especially in something as widespread as a hurricane or tropical storm.
Kids get restless. Phone batteries need to be reserved for emergencies, contacting family and friends, etc. Make sure to have plenty of board games or card games for kids, and adults, to play. Have plenty of books to read on hand as well.
Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best
Hurricanes can disrupt your life as well as damage property. It is best to be prepared should disaster strike. A favorite saying of mine is, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” Hopefully, this hurricane preparations list will put you and your family ahead of the storm.