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How to Prepare for a Hurricane

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How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Much of the East Coast is gripping for what is likely to be an historic and devastating hurricane. With Sandy expected to impact areas not used to such extreme conditions, tens of millions of people will need to act quickly to prepare. Here are some tips for how to get ready for Hurricane Sandy, and what to do during and after the storm.

Put an emergency supply kit together. A full list of recommended and suggested items are available through FEMA:

  • Non-perishable food; at least a three day supply.
  • Water; 1 gallon per person per day for at least three days is recommended.
  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio to keep up with news and weather reports.
  • Flashlights.
  • Extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Medications.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Food and water for any pets or animals.
  • Credit cards, ATM cards, cash.
  • Copies of important documents. Keep them in a waterproof and portable container.

Create a family emergency plan. If your family is not all in the same place when the hurricane hits, you’ll need a way to get in contact with one another.

Protect your home:

  • Cover windows with ply wood or hurricane shutters.
  • Bring all outdoor furniture, garbage cans and decorations inside.
  • Turn off any utilities as instructed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Reinforce garage doors.
  • Retrofit your roof.
  • Fill bath tub and large containers with water.
  • Solid wood and hollow metal doors will probably withstand the hurricane. If your entry doors aren’t made of these materials, or you’re not quite sure if they are or not, you can secure your door by installing head and foot bolts. Click here for more tips on securing entryways.
  • Turn your refrigerator’s thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed if you aren’t required to turn off your utilities.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
  • If you’re evacuating your home, unplug any appliances.

 

Next Page: What to do during and after the storm.

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

34 comments

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3:10PM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Thanks

4:56AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

For a hurricane, earthquake, locusts, zombies...

"and if you evacuate - take your pets with you! leaving them behind is a death sentence."

Well said, Renya. Those who abandon their pets in a tragedy should be buried alive.

3:42AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

thanks

3:44AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

Thank you, it may be really useful in the future, I'm not so well-educated about those kinds of emergencies...

7:36PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

It should be Year Round. Emergencies are not planned.

1:02AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Good to know. Thanks.

11:14AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

The one thing you must keep running is your sump pump. Roofs can be replaced, food in your fridge can be replaced and you can eat emergency rations for a few days, but if your basement or crawlspace floods, you may lose your entire home. At the very least you will probably have to buy a new furnace and deal with mold.
I'm able to use a small gas generator, but it takes a lot of tending to and comes with its own set of safety issues. Getting ready to move to a backup battery system - the new solar ones look promising.

9:04AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

thank you for this list...it's useful for any emergency situation.

9:04AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

thank you for this list...it's useful for any emergency situation.

8:33AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

Safer than being under a heavy table is lying next to it. If the ceiling beams fall, they will likely crush the table but leave a gap next to it. Same goes for avoiding standing/sitting in a doorway. Put yourself next to a heavy object and your survival chances are much greater. This is based on a recent report examining real-life disasters.

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