Be Ready for the Storm with These Tips

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Hurricanes, tropical storms and winter storms can all pose a threat to you and your loved ones with flooding, high winds, power outages and other disasters. There might not be a risk of a storm right now, but it’s important for you and your family to be prepared and know what to do before, during and after the storm. 

Preparing for the Storm

  • Stock up on emergency supplies:
    • At least 5 gallons of water per person – bottles or jugs from the supermarket will ensure your water is safe to drink
    • 3 to 5 day supply of nonperishable foods
    • Manual can opener
    • Prescription medicines
    • First aid kit and instructions
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Flashlights
    • Candles and lighters
    • Extra batteries
    • Sleeping bags or extra blankets
    • Generator
    • Personal care products such as toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, wet cleaning cloths, soap, feminine products and diapers
  • Have a plan in place:
    • Know where the nearest shelters are, or make arrangements to stay with family or friends outside of the county if necessary
    • Know the local evacuation route
    • Have emergency phone numbers on hand
    • Show each member of the household how to turn off water, gas and electricity
  • Prepare your home and belongings:
    • Review your insurance policies
    • Bring outdoor items inside such as furniture, flower pots, etc.
    • Remove dead or damaged trees near your home
    • Clear your gutters
    • Ensure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have working batteries
    • Fill your car with gas and move it to higher ground
    • Charge electronics
    • Take photos in and around your home
    • Gather valuable papers such as social security cards, birth certificates, deeds, titles, marriage and death records, wills, stocks and bonds, inventory of household goods, cash and credit cards, and keep items in an airtight container

During the Storm

  • Stay inside and away from windows
  • Do not attempt to drive through flood waters
  • Never ignore an evacuation order
  • Protect older adults, those with medical conditions and pets
  • If flooding occurs, turn off electricity at the main breaker
  • If your homes loses power, turn off major appliances to reduce damage
  • Do not use electrical appliances
  • Beware of lightning – Stay away from electrical equipment, and don’t take a bath/shower during the storm

After the Storm

  • Throw away food that may be contaminated, whether they came in contact with flood waters or have not been refrigerated
  • Do not use water you’ve been told is contaminated
  • Do not use any electrical devices that are wet
  • Do not attempt to drive through remaining flood waters
  • Be careful around damaged buildings
  • Stay away from downed power lines – Do not attempt to drive over them
  • Clean your home properly to avoid mold and other damage 

For more information, visit ready.gov.

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