If a Hurricane is Headed Your Way, You Should Prepare By Doing These 11 Crucial Things

With Hurricane Florence on the horizon and two more on her Atlantic heels, weather experts want everyone to be prepared for the worst. As South Carolina and North Carolina are getting ready for the storm to make landfall, we’re reminded of what to do.

Wind and rain can be so severe that it can knock out power, cause flooding, and down trees. Whether you decide to hunker down at home or at a shelter, planning ahead with the proper tools and supplies can ensure you and family get through a hurricane with the basics.

Below you will find a quick rundown on what you should buy, pack, store, replenish, and do in case of a major storm like a hurricane. Raiding the grocery stores at the last minute can yield disappointing results, so be sure to spread your shopping destinations around when you grab some of the items on this list.

  1. Protect Your Home

    Don’t leave your home vulnerable to high winds and angry water. Seal windows and doors so that water can’t leak in, and board up windows.
    If you have furniture or debris outdoors, remove it so that it doesn’t fly around/away in the event of a storm. Check trees and trim the branches if necessary, and protect your roof with hurricane clips/straps.

  2. Secure Boats and Vehicles

    If you own a boat and don’t have access to a storage facility, tie it up and cover it properly, including any electronics that may be exposed to water. For your vehicle, get gas (in case of a fuel shortage) and toss an emergency pack inside.
    Fill it with food rations, a flashlight, water, and other supplies. If you have a cover or garage at your disposal, use it. You may also want to snap a few pics of your property should you have to prove damages later.

  3. First Aid Kit

    The American Red Cross recommends having a first aid kit in your car and house (or on your person). In it, place bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, scissors, tweezers, and antibacterial ointment.

  4. Know Your Location

    You should know where you are in proximity to emergency shelters in case you need to evacuate.

  5. Food and Water

    You already know to stock up on water and canned goods, but what other foods make sense in case the power goes out? Ice (for a cooler), cereal, baby food and formula, bottled drinks, vitamins, and energy bars should also be kept on hand.

  6. Flashlights and Candles

    In addition to stocking up on flashlights and candles, re-up on batteries, lighters, and matches.

  7. Pets

    If you are keeping your pets with you, make sure they have food, cat litter, and identification in the event of a separation. If boarding is an option (in a safe place), you may want to do it.

  8. Check Insurance Policies

    You’ll want to verify insurance coverage for your property – including for your house, apartment, or vehicle. Many homeowners do not have flood coverage on their insurance policies, and get a rude surprise when disaster strikes.

  9. Safeguard Documents

    Valuable paperwork such as financial documents, birth certificates, medical records, and insurance policies should be kept in an airtight/waterproof container. Keep it in a safe place like a small, fireproof safe.

  10. Medication

    Pack medication that you’ll need and keep it close to you. Insulin, pain relievers, and other important medications (whether prescribed or OTC) can be stowed along with first aid supplies.

  11. Miscellaneous

    Should your family decide to bunk together, gather any items for sleeping and entertainment. Since you don’t know if you’ll have access to water and power during or after a major storm, make sure your stock of toiletries is up.

    Soap, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products should be kept close. It’s also handy to keep some tools nearby like a manual can opener, a wrench, or pliers. For those who will be evacuating before or during a storm, remember to pack a change of clothes!

It’s always best to err on the side of the worst case scenario, so don’t think you’re overdoing it. Make a list and triple check it at least one day in advance of a weather emergency.

To hear more about the severe hurricane weather approaching from the Atlantic Ocean, click below.

Are you in the path of a hurricane right now? What items do you keep in your storm kits? Which of the items on this list are handy for you?



American Red Cross

National Hurricane Center