Hurricane season officially starts today!
Last week we reminded you about the importance of making sure you have all your business affairs in order and being properly prepared in case of an emergency.
This week we’re continuing with ways for you to make sure your family and pets are taken care of as well.
People don’t expect to get caught in potentially dangerous and extreme situations, but when it happens, having a plan and knowing what to do could make a world of difference for you and your loved ones.
Understanding potential risks that are likely in certain regions allows people to have an emergency plan specifically designed for the disasters most likely to occur in their area.
Certain areas of the country are more prone to specific types of disasters. As I mentioned, living in Florida we’re prepared for hurricanes. People in the Midwest probably have an emergency plan to prepare (as best they can) for tornadoes and on the west coast they plan for earthquakes.
A disaster supply kit should have all the basic items needed in the event of an emergency.
Assume that in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, roads will be closed to vehicles and public transportation shut down.
Electricity, gas, water, and telephones may be off for days, a week or even longer. Your kit should contain items to help you manage during outages.
Get your kit together before any emergencies happen. If you have to evacuate you’ll have to hurry and you’ll only be able to take basic essentials with you. You don’t want to waste time having to search or shop for supplies.
Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as prescriptions, medications and should also include important legal or family documents.
In Florida, from Friday, June 2nd through Sunday, June 4th, hurricane supplies will be tax-free. This means you won’t be charged sales tax when you purchase certain items. You can check out the list here.
Be sure you have the following:
Cash or traveler’s checks
First aid kit
Weather radio (extra batteries)
Flashlight (extra batteries)
FYI – Some radios and flashlights are now equipped with multiple power sources, such as batteries, solar panels and a hand crank.
Gas-powered generator. Use generators with caution. Make sure conditions are safe before operating a portable generator. Only operate it outside — away from windows, doors or vents and follow all manufacturers’ instructions.
Water (enough to last for at least 72 hours. One gallon per person per day)
Non-perishable food (3 day supply)
Manual can opener
Infant formula and diapers
Personal hygiene items
Moist towelettes / hand sanitizer
Waterproof containers / Ziploc® plastic bags
Bleach. Household chlorine bleach is a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water (don’t use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners).
If you live in a cold climate, you need to pack warm clothing, hats, gloves and sturdy, waterproof shoes or boots and sleeping bags or warm blankets for each person.
Emergency Supply Kit for Pets (Source: ASPCA.org)
Photocopies of vaccines and medical records
Food (3-7 days-worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food)
Food and water dishes
A crate or sturdy carrier (one for each pet)
Litter and disposable litter trays
Extra leashes, toys and chew toys
Blankets and/or pillows
If you are not ordered to evacuate, stay in a safe area or shelter until the danger has passed. In your home, safe areas are the ground floor or interior rooms, without widows, like a closet or bathroom.
Listen to your portable radio for important updates and instructions from local authorities.