Weather forecasters may not be expecting the ‘big one’ during the hurricane season this year, but a few major hurricanes could still threaten the Atlantic coast. Are you ready when a hurricane hits your area? Do you have a ready-made anti-hurricane plan standing by? If still not, below is your step-by-step guide in preparing your emergency supplies:
Step 1: Organize a Plan.
Create your anti-hurricane program plan. Every Floridian knows that preparation is the key to survive a hurricane. Prepare through an organized plan, which involves four stages of preparation like pre-season preparation, before the hurricane, during, and after the hurricane (this article is limited only to the pre-season preparation for emergency supplies). Research thoroughly about community programs for hurricane preparedness, neighborhood experiences, a family readiness/practical know-how to do, evacuation center location, and most importantly, a questionnaire to be filled in detail.
Step 2: Property Readiness Inside and Out.
By upgrading or retrofitting your house defenses, especially the weakest parts like windows, doors, garages, and rooftops, you can strengthen and build a better foundation against any storm. For the outside of the house, you can do cleaning up and trimming the surrounding environment to prevent further damage from flying branches of trees and other debris.
Step 3: Assemble and Prepare a Hurricane Emergency Kit and Supplies.
Word of Caution: Before buying your emergency supplies, always consider your budget. Balance your budget and do not spend more than what’s on your budget. Practical budgeting by avoiding stocking up too much and over hoarding of items/goods that you may never need or that would expire before using them. Every item’s date of expiry should be checked carefully and make double thinking with your list based on its functionality, and not on personal self-need. Secondly, thriftiness buying attitude is the key, be patient enough to wait for ‘ On Sale’ seasons before buying all those stuff. Good things do come to those who wait.
The American Red Cross list of basic supplies and emergency kit includes:
A. Emergency Kit :
- First Aid Box
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Emergency blanket
First-aid necessities first like first-aid supplies, basic medical prescriptions (common OTC medicines), hygienic items like toilet paper and tampons, sunscreen, bug spray, water purification tablets, and a whistle (If trapped in your shelter).
B. Basic Necessities:
- Water- a gallon per day/person
Prepare a three-to-seven-day supply of food and water, with 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per person, per day.
- Food-easy to prepare /non-perishable
Foods should be nonperishable, and since you don’t know how long you’ll be in a disaster situation, high-energy foods and comfort foods are practical, too.
- Sanitation and Personal Hygiene Items
Don’t forget your personal sanitation needs, you need to keep yourself clean and comfortable to cope with such a natural disaster.
- Personal Confidential/Important Documents: Passports, birth certificates, Property and assets documents(deed/lease to home), proof of address, insurance policies, medication list/pertinent medical information, and Journal/Diary (Family /Emergency information).These are essential and highly important items that should be protected and secured, make sure you seal the documents in a water-proof/sealed plastic, or any secured/padlocked bag.
- Hand-crank radio/Battery-powered, and Extra Batteries with Flashlight
A battery-operated radio to keep updated with the weather bureau and the weather situation status. Since there will be no power for days, flashlights with extra batteries are necessary.
- Mobile phone (charged) with chargers/Extra Battery(Charged)
Charge your cellphones with extra batteries also charged, communication is also important especially during the aftermath of storms, where you should contact your loved ones you are safe and the local authorities for latest storm updates and other vital information.
- Extra Cash, Keys, and Maps of the Area
In case there is advisory to evacuate before the storm hits your area, always be ready with your car having fully fueled, and cash for the travel with maps in hand.
- Baby or a family member with special needs, and pets Requirements (If have one)
Never forget your pets; you’ll need a leash, food, more water, carrier, vet records, and maybe a toy or a favorite blanket, and If you have a baby or a family member with special needs, bring along all of their basic requirements.
- Kitchen Accessories/Multi-tools
Multi-tools with kitchen accessories like plastic utensils, bowls, paper plates, manual can openers, napkins, and other things you’ll need to cook and do for situational needs.
- Blankets and Pillows
Supplies like blankets and pillows, with extra clothing that’s sturdy, seasonal, and rain-resistant to keep yourself dry, and sickness-protected.
Summary: Hurricane is here, and are you ready with your emergency supplies? Doing these three-step guides will help you: step 1-organizing a plan, step 2-property readiness inside and out, and step 3-assembling/ preparing a hurricane emergency kit and supplies.
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