Hurricane and Storm Preparedness
No one is ever truly ready when a disaster strikes. Most people are only concerned about their safety and the safety of their loved ones. However, there are things that can be done to be prepared for what could be one of the most potential disasters in your life. For example, it’s really important that you have some things that are truly important in order.
One of the most important things to do in your preparation steps before a hurricane hits is to know if you’re in an evacuation zone. There are five areas in Escambia county and on the beach where evacuation take place when hurricanes are heading our way. In these zones, surges can go from up to seven ft. of water all the way up to over 20 ft. of water. You want to make sure that you pay attention to the news and follow instructions to avoid catastrophes.
In addition, NO ONE thinks about their priceless personal possessions until they are gone. Now is the time to think about what you want to preserve and what you want to let go of if confronted by a storm. However, there are certain things you would absolutely need if you were going to need to move quickly to protect in case of a sudden evacuation or emergency situation.
We have a list that would help you get your plan in order. Take an inventory of your household documents, contacts and valuables. We have a pdf file that you can download or you can go to www.ready.gov/financialprepardness and tones more information.
In addition, there are items you should also always have readily available in case of an emergency, hurricane, storm, or evacuation.
Hurricane Supplies – Printable Hurricane Supply List
- Water – You should have at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days for drinking and sanitation.
- Food – You should have at least three days of a food supply that is non-perishable foods.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dusk mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheets and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench and pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contacts canned foods)
- Local Maps
- Prescriptions medications and glasses
- Infant formula, baby food, and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pets (least one gallon per pet per day for at least 3 days for drinking and sanitation.
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and should be stored in a waterproof portable container
- Cash or Travelers Checks
- Emergency reference materials
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket or each person.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing in colder climates.
- Household Chlorine bleach and medicine dropper
When diluted nine-part water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleach with cleanser added.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil or pen
- Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children
Here is a shopping list for that shows supplies during a disaster that you may need. The ideal thing to do is to prepare for at least 11 weeks.
Most people will try to run out and do all the shopping right before the storm, however, if you want to keep yourself the aggravation of long lines and having to deal with gas stations and people in general before a storm. It’s good to start your preparation before the storm season begins. While grocery shopping you can pick up extra items and store them away in your pantry.
In addition, if you can put away at least $25 – $50 in a cash jar hidden in a place you will remember. That way you will not have to worry about going to an ATM machine and dealing with it being out of cash, and if a storm hits, you will be able to be set for a few days until the banks can reopen.
Now is also the time to keep your car gassed up and if possible have a 5 or 10 gallon take available for you to store gas. During storms, gas is the one thing people need on a regular basis to keep their cars, and generators going. However, make sure that you store your gas in a well-ventilated place because the fumes can be harmful, make you sick and cause death.
Remember during a hurricane or a storm, you want to board up your home. By boarding up your home you are protecting yourself and family from nature debris that could enter through vulnerable areas of your homes and harm you or your family. You also want to put away any loose furniture or debris before the storm occurs, that way the will not act as missiles which can be dangerous or even deadly to you and your family.
Another important thing to know and remember is where the local shelters are before a storm. Many times, people don’t think that they will ever need shelter because they feel their home is secure and capable of weathering a storm. However, when you’re prepared knowing where the local shelters could end up being a lifesaver.
To be completely prepared go to www.ready.gov it gives you a detailed list and vital information about any type of disaster and gives you a thorough list of any and everything you need in order to be safe and ready for anything.
For local information please go to http://www.bereadyalliance.org/ it will give you more information about how to protect yourself during a hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake, and anything else Florida may need and be prepared for.
Family Communication Fillable Card – printable
Family Plan for Children – printable
Important Information for your Family – printable