How to Prepare for a Hurricane

It’s been an active hurricane season, and forecasters predict that this trend will continue for years to come. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, coming ashore just three weeks apart, caused massive damage and ruined countless livelihoods and homes. Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, claiming many lives and causing millions of dollars in damage. Estimations of the damage continue to be assessed.

One lesson learned from these tragedies is the better prepared you are for a natural disaster, the less worries you’ll have after the storm. Being unprepared for such an event can add to the misery. There are some supplies that are important to stock up on if a hurricane is coming your way. Below is a list of items to have readily available just in case the worse case scenario comes true.

Here is a list of supplies to keep on hand that’ll be invaluable if basic services like electricity or communications isn’t available after the storm. In a plastic storage container the items to include:

Battery-operated radio
Battery-operated TV
Battery-operated fan
Flashlight for every member of the family
Canned food
Non-electric can opener
Mosquito repellent
First Aid Kit
Plastic Tarp for roof
Clean up supplies

With no phones and no electricity, you can feel pretty isolated for days without modern essentials. That’s where the battery powered TV and radio will come in handy. It’ll be a great relief to have some news from the outside world and a great comfort. A battery-operated radio will be equally as valuable as well. A battery-operated fan will bring some relief from the heat. It’s nice to have air stirring around especially when trying to sleep.

Add to this list specific item or needs your household might have. For example, infant/baby items or activities for kids like puzzles, coloring books, deck of cards, or board games. Also fill any drug prescriptions if they are running low.
If you know the storm is approaching fill up your gas tanks and gas cans. Have plenty of cash in case banking systems are down for a few days as this will likely be the only currency stores will take.

Water will be essential so have plenty available. It’s recommended to have three gallons of water per person. One tip is to fill up your bathtub so you’ll have water to flush the commode, wash dishes, or wash clothes. One resource for water not used for drinking could be an area creek or stream.

After the storm although there will be help pouring in from the government and private citizens, neighbors helping neighbors is the strongest support and truly a first response mechanism so take time to check in on a neighbor if you are able after the storm.

Always heed warnings when it comes to hurricanes or any severe weather alert. Evacuate your home if advised to do so and keep on hand emergency supplies. Being prepared will bring a sense of comfort and control to an otherwise uncontrollable situation.

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