June 1st, is the official start of the 2013 hurricane season. This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an active season with an estimated 13-20 named storms. It’s never too early to prepare for a hurricane. Before the storm hits, get yourself, your family, and your home hurricane ready with our hurricane preparedness list.
Gather important documents
Insurance documents: This includes insurance documents for any policy you have. Whether it is your car insurance, home insurance, or boat insurance documents, you should have these in a safe, dry location in case you need to make a claim once the storm passes.
Medical records: Collect the medical records for you and every member of your family. You should also keep your medical insurance documents with these records. In addition, if you are traveling with your pets, you should include their identification and immunization documents as well.
Social security card and personal identification: Whether you are evacuating before the storm or riding it out, it is important to have your personal identification in a secure and accessible place.
Cash, credit cards: It is a good idea that beyond having your credit cards in a safe and accessible location, that you also have cash on hand in the event there is no power in your area. If you lose power credit card machines will not work, but cash will still be accepted.
Cell phone and car charger: In the event you lose power a car charger will give you the ability to use your cell phone without worrying about its battery life. This will ensure your ability to call any emergency personnel if needed, as well as contact the power company to stay advised of their efforts to restore your power.
Clothing essentials: Even if you are riding out the hurricane it is a good idea to pack a bag of clothing essentials just in case. Make sure you have at least one change of clothes for all the members in your family. We also suggest that you pack rain gear, utility gloves, socks, and a sturdy pair of shoes. You may also want to pack your pet’s leash, carrier, or any other pet supplies near this bag.
Toiletries: This includes any medications that you or your family members or pets take on a regular basis or may need in case there is a delay in getting back into your home. Remember to pack your eyeglasses and contact solution if you use either to help see.
Check your hurricane preparedness list
When preparing for a storm it is easy to let things slip your mind. To help you prepare your home and yard for the inclement weather, we’ve provided our hurricane preparedness list as a reference.
Prepare your home
- Secure and store items from your yard
- Trim loose and dead branches from trees
- Secure windows with storm shutters and if available plywood with pre-drilled holes
- Remove satellite dishes, antennae, and/or roof turbines
- Clean out gutters
- Stack sandbags around exterior doorframes
- Securely moor or move your watercraft to a safe location
Have on hand
- Tools (hammer, screwdriver, chainsaw, etc.)
- Plastic tarp for roof or window repair
- Clean-up supplies for your yard and home
- Camera to document before/after
- Fill your vehicle with gas well in advance
- Know how to turn off your home’s gas, electricity, and water
- Prep generator to ensure proper operation
- Charge your mobile phone
- Fill out your “Family Plan” (how to prepare and where to meet if a hurricane hits)
We can’t predict what a storm will do and what we will need after it passes, but taking a moment to prepare for a hurricane can spare you stress after the storm. Did we leave something out? Tell us what would be on your hurricane preparedness list.