The most important thing you can do as hurricane season approaches is to get yourself, your family and your home prepared. After you have read these tips, please review the other resources available on the CDC Hurricanes website. You can also check out CDC’s new reference document that contains key messages on hurricane and flood-related health threats. The Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters can help local responders quickly create and adapt health communication products for affected communities. The document contains messages on various topics including food safety, carbon monoxide poisoning, waterborne diseases, and mold.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
1. Make ice blocks NOW. Buy or fill plastic gallon jugs with drinking water (pour out about 2 cups because ice will expand). Put the jug in a couple of plastic bags ( in case a jug bursts) and put upright in your freezer. If the power goes off, you will have a block of ice that won’t melt as fast as cubed ice and when it does melt, you’ll have drinking water.
2. Right now you have clean tap water. Start filling up jugs, jars, bottles, and pitchers. Also outside, fill buckets or trash cans with water (and cover so mosquitos don’t enjoy the breeding ground). This water can be used for flushing and plants. I fill up the tub with water ( I’m still a country girl)!
3. Make sure every electronic device is charged. In the event of an outage, don’t waste the charge with gaming or excessive use.
4. If you don’t have a battery-powered radio or flashlight, buy one now….and don’t forget the batteries.
5. Back up your computer files on a thumb drive to keep with you.
6. Fill ‘er up! Make sure all vehicles are gassed and ready to go.
7. Check on people who live alone as well as elderly and infirm neighbors.
8. Eat well this week! Use up your most valuable freezer and fridge items now in case the power is off for sometime and you didn’t make the ice blocks (See #1).
9. Remember to get matches/lighters.
10. When the storm passes and you have phone service, let friends and relatives know your status and whereabouts.
11. Pack a waterproof box with valuables and “sentimental items” that you can grab if you must evacuate.
12. Have cash! It works everywhere, all the time.
13. Make sure clothes and dishes are washed. Run the garbage disposal.
14. If you are cooking something and the power goes out, immediately turn the stove or oven off.
15. Get your prescriptions refilled.
16. Move your vehicles away from trees and on to higher ground if there is danger of flooding.
17. Buy canned goods that don’t need to be heated or cooled. Also, make sure you have a manual can opener.
18. Stock up on tarps and duct tape.
19. Make coffee before the storm gets too bad and pour into a Yeti thermos. Next morning you’ll be glad you did! Also, you could share with someone who loses power.