Our List Of Recommended Hurricane Preparations & Planning

Discussions on appropriate planning and preparations for coastal area and inland residents along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Atlantic Ocean when a hurricane or tropical storm is forecast to impact a region.
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Our List Of Recommended Hurricane Preparations & Planning

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Below is a list of planning guidelines and preparations we've put together over the past few years, but we will love hearing some things others do. Feel free to register and contribute to this list.

The NHC recommends the best time to plan for a hurricane or tropical storm is by May 1st of each year. This includes knowing your local area approved evacuation routes.

By May 1st of each year:

Maintain a month supply of non-perishable foods, water, hurricane lamps and oil, batteries, candles, toilet paper, pet food, flashlights, baby food, diapers, and other absolute needs. It should also be noted about a week before a hurricane or tropical system is forecast to impact local areas, stores run out of storm supplies. We recommend buying these items before hurricane season.

If you do not have a generator, invest in a battery system that can keep your cell phone charged. In most cases, data remains active even when power is out and cell towers are disrupted. This will allow you to get social media information from local emergency management and contact relatives.

While it’s not absolutely necessary, save money each month and buy a generator, and have enough gas on hand for a month’s worth of use. We recommend buying 5 gallons each month during the off-season and storing it in approved containers.

Fill all cars with gas. Again, about a week before a storm could impact the area, gas becomes very hard to find and will be even harder to find for many weeks after a storm.

Have as much cash on hand as you can possibly get. As many residents discovered after Hurricane Florence, some stores will open very soon after impact, but they will only accept cash.

If you or a family member are medically vulnerable, leave the area even if there is no mandatory evacuation. This is especially crucial for patients that have medical devices which require electricity, or for patients that are medically compromised. Consult with your doctor first.

About a week before a storm could impact your local area, talk with your medical provider and local pharmacist about getting your medications refilled with a 3 month supply.

Please do not abandon your pets during a tropical system or hurricane whether you evacuate or not. Spend some time on social media and alert others to your needs. We can assure you help for family pets will be offered. Or, talk with your local veterinarian about your needs and concerns.

Clear your yard, lawns, decks, and sheds of anything that could become airborne. This includes garbage cans, hanging plants, and bicycles. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Fill your bathtub with water in case water pressure is lost and you need to flush your toilet. This water should not be used for drinking.

Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings about a week before a tropical system or hurricane and limit opening the doors. This will give you an extra 2 days before foods spoil.

If you’re reading this while there is an active storm threatening the area, we understand you likely can't accomplish this, but for future storms consider measuring ALL windows in your home and buying plywood you can apply to windows from the outside when storms affect the area. This will prevent airborne debris from breaching your home via the windows.

Once you lose electricity, turn all switches on your circuit breaker OFF to prevent power surges when electricity is restored. If evacuating, we also recommend turning the water off in case power is restored while you're away and a faucet was accidentally left on.

Review all insurance policies before May 1st.

Inspect trees on your property, and if there are any with apparent weakened limbs consider cutting them down. This clearly should be done before May 1st.

Do NOT make plans and preparations around where the eye makes landfall. Dangerous and prolonged weather conditions always impact populated areas hundreds of miles from initial landfall.

Never makes plans and preparations based on category strength. Smaller Category 1 storms produce the same tornadoes and waterspouts Category 5 storms so, and can bring down trees.
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