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You can build your supplies over time by adding a few items each week or month. Gather in advance the necessary supplies and items you will need to stay safe after the hurricane passes and as you start to recover. Stock food items that do not need refrigeration and will last. Regularly replace items like water, food, medications, and batteries that go bad over time.
Make sure you have everything you’ll need to get in touch with your family either through cell phones or email.
Be equipped to tend to any current or unexpected medical conditions your family may have.
Place any important documents in a waterproof container to help keep them dry and easily accessible.
TOOLS AND SAFETY ITEMS
Small items like matches, flashlights, a multi-purpose tool, and a whistle can make a huge difference for your family while weathering the storm.
Have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your family. Remember to pack anything specific to your family’s needs.
HYGIENE AND SANITATION
Practising good hygiene can stop the spread of bacteria and infectious disease.
Protect yourself by packing warm clothes and blankets to prevent hypothermia. Don’t forget protective footwear and gloves too.
COMFORT & PRICELESS ITEMS
You may be away from your home for an extended period and your property may be damaged. Grab any items that are irreplaceable or may provide comfort to your family, especially your children.
Ask yourself, “What would I need for myself and my family if a hurricane struck?” Add any of these specific items to your Hurricane Preparedness Checklist.
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Planning and preparing before a hurricane strikes can help you manage the impact of high winds and floodwaters. Take the steps outlined below to keep you and your family safe while protecting your home and property. If you are a renter, talk with your landlord or property manager about the steps you can take together to protect yourself, your family, your home, and your property.
High winds: The best way to reduce the risk of damage to a structure from hurricane winds is to reinforce or strengthen the building including doors, windows, walls, and roofs. The best way to protect yourself is to consider either constructing a safe room that meets FEMA criteria or a storm shelter that meets ICC 500 criteria.
Wind-borne debris: Bring loose, lightweight objects (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans, and bicycles) inside; anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., gas grills and propane tanks); and trim or remove trees
close enough to fall on buildings.
There are steps that you or your property owner can take now to make your home or business more flood resistant. Some improvements are simple and inexpensive; others require more of an investment. As your budget allows, take these steps to protect your property from flood damage and manage your risks.
• Keep gutters and drains free of debris.
• Install a water alarm and sump pumps with battery backup.
• Install “check valves” in sewer lines to prevent floodwater from backing up into your drains.
• Stockpile emergency protective materials such as plywood, plastic sheeting, and sandbags.
• Elevate the heating system (furnace), water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
• Waterproof the basement.
• In areas with repetitive flooding, consider elevating the building.
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PLAN FOR EVACUATION
If the danger is significant, state or local government officials may issue an evacuation notice. You can do the following to be better prepared.
Learn your community’s evacuation plan and identify several posted routes to leave the area.
• Evacuation routes: Check with your state’s Department of Transportation or Office of Emergency Management website to find routes near you.
• Emergency shelter location: To find a shelter near you, download the FEMA app at fema.gov/mobile-app.
Once you determine your evacuation route and shelter location, write them down on your Hurricane Preparedness Checklist, which is located at the end of this guide.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BE READY
• Plan for your entire household including children, people with disabilities and access and functional needs, and pets.
• Keep your gas tank at least half-full at all times. Maintain basic emergency supplies (e.g., snacks, bottled water, first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables and other tools, a wool blanket, and a change of clothes) in your vehicle.
• Pick an out-of-state contact everyone can call to check-in and report their status.
• Know where you will meet up if you are separated and where you will stay.
• Pack a “go bag” including items you need to take with you if you evacuate. A “go bag” should be easy to carry and kept in a place where you can grab it quickly.
CREATE YOUR FAMILY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN
Your family may not be together when a hurricane occurs, so it is important to know how to contact one another and how to get back together.
Keep important numbers written down in your wallet in case you cannot access the contact list in your phone. Landline and cellular phone systems are often overwhelmed following a disaster, so you may need to use text
messages and social media.
Designate an out-of-town contact who can help your household reconnect. Be sure to practice your plan with your family.
Write down any important phone numbers on your Hurricane Preparedness Checklist so you can access them easily.