'Tis the season for hurricanes! First things first, check out the Disaster Preparedness 2022 Sales Tax Holiday. Theare are a list of eligible items and a lot of these goodies have the added benefit of making your next camping trip a pretty smooth one ;)
Next! I want to say thank you to StateofFLorida.com and author Christine Harrison for a very detailed yet succint guide to Hurricane Preparedness. Below are some highlights, click "continue reading" for the whole guide!
It is important to create a kit of supplies that you could take with you if you are forced to evacuate. This kit will also be useful if you are able to stay in your home, but are still affected by the storm, such as through the loss of power. One common trend seen when hurricanes are approaching is a wide-spread panic. When this happens, people rush in large numbers to get all the supplies they think they need. However, if you prepare your kit ahead of time, you can alleviate a lot of the potential stress of a very chaotic situation. You should create your kit in a bag that you can easily take with you. Some recommended items to include are:
Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
Waterproof container with cash and important documents
Manual can opener
Lighter or matches
Books, magazines, games for recreation
Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
Cooler and ice packs
A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
In the event a storm should leave you without power, there are a few things to consider and help you be ready and stay safe outside of your normal hurricane preparedness.
Gas: Make sure your tank is full far in advance of an approaching storm. Most people wait until the last minute, rush to get extra gas for cars and generators, and subsequently gas stations can run out early.
ATMS: Have extra cash on hand in the event no ATMS in your area are accessible or working.
Cell Phones: Charge your cell phone and limit use after power is out.
A/C: This can be the most uncomfortable side effect of losing power during a storm. Try to prevent as much light from entering and warming the house by covering up your windows on the inside. If you have back-up or battery operated fans, don't run them unless you are in the room. Fans create a difference in perceived temperature but do not cool the room; instead they create a cooling effect by dispersing the heat off your skin. It is said they can actually add heat to a room just by running.
Water: Fill bathtub and large containers with water for washing and flushing only.
Food: Turn your fridge temperature down and/or freeze any food or drinking water that can be frozen if you expect a power outage. Here is a guide on freezing food: Freezing and Food Safety. Have a cooler with ice packs prepared to cool your drinks and snacks after power has been out for more than 4 hours. And importantly, check out this food safety guide for when to discard your perishable food: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html
Health/Safety: The CDC has a great guide on how to stay safe in the event of a power outage: Power Outages