Hurricane Preparedness 2016: How to prep you and your home for hurricanes

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By Charles Roop
May 30, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - When a hurricane is threatening to hit your home, that’s not the time to scramble for supplies and a plan. The time to think ahead is now.

First, you should have an emergency supply kit. The kit should include a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, a battery operated radio, toiletries, and items for your baby and pets.

You should also have plenty of water. Stock up so you have enough to last you and your family three to seven days. It’s likely best to have a gallon per day, per person.

It’s also wise to have plenty of non-perishable food and a non-electrical can opener so you can still get to your food.

Having a grill and charcoal would help heat up food, but be sure you do not cook indoors. Make sure your grill is secure so it will not be damaged during the storm.

If you are not ordered to evacuate and you plan on staying home, be sure to stay away from windows. During the heat of the storm, be sure to move to a small, interior room - preferably a bathroom or hallway. Put as many layers between you and the outside world as possible.

While you and your family are secure in an interior room, be sure you have a flashlight on hand. Do not use candles as it’s a fire hazard. Also have a cell phone on hand if you need to make a call. Be sure you also have a battery-powered radio so you can keep tabs on the storm, and get the latest from local officials.

If you are ordered to leave, be sure you have a “go kit” ready. That can include medications, important documents, extra cash, cell phone chargers. Also have supplies for your children and pets. If you are going to a shelter, be sure you go to one that accepts pets. Bring blankets and pillows, too.

If a storm is threatening the area, it’s best to fill up your gas tank as soon as possible. This will help beat the lines at the pump, and ensure you have plenty of gas during extended power outages (almost all pumps run on electric).

To get more details on what items and steps you may need to prepare for the next storm, be sure to check out the American Red Cross’ hurricane prep page: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane.