With Hurricane Irene rapidly approaching the Eastern seaboard, it is highly recommended for people to start getting prepared now. In order to get ready for this possible category 4 hurricane, we have created of list of safety tips for you to follow:
1. Make a plan for what to do when the storm hits and stick with it. It’s easy to let unexpected circumstances separate you from your family or cause someone to get lost. Figure out a good meeting spot that’s near your home and keep all of your contact information with you; that means write it down as you might not be able to access or power on your digital devices in case of damage, loss, or drained battery.
2. Put together an emergency kit with supplies that you will need in case you have to evacuate the area. Be sure to stock up on enough supplies to last you three days and include the following:
- Food and one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Flashlight and spare batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Can opener (if kit contains canned food)
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Toilet paper
Keep these supplies in an easy-to-carry bag that you can grab to go at a moment’s notice.
3. Get a supply of cash. In case of a power outage or serious catastrophe, retail locations will be closed. If you will need to buy something you will either have to pay them in cash as there will be no way to pay by credit or debit.
4. Fill up the gas tank in your car in case of evacuation. The last thing you want is to be stuck on dangerous grounds because you didn’t think ahead to get gas earlier.
5. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting in case the power goes out. This way your food will last longer and won’t spoil as soon.
6. Fill up a bathtub full of water in case your water is turned off or the pipeline is damaged; this should be used for cleaning and flushing toilets, or as an additional supply of drinking water.
7. Gather and store any outdoor items that can potentially turn into a missile in heavy winds such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, tools, etc. Not only will you end up in possession of these items after the storm, but you might also save somebody’s life from hurled objects.
8. Stay in during the storm and follow the weather reports. Keep indoors until the hurricane passes your area so that you don’t get injured by flying projectiles (see tip #7) or have any trees or damaged power lines fall on you.
9. If you’ve been evacuated, before entering your home check for flood waters around your house or the smell of natural gas. If any are present do not enter your home as it might be unsafe and seek help from your local authorities.
10. Hopefully you already have flood insurance, in which case you should take photos of any damage caused by the hurricane once it has passed. Make sure to send those in to the insurance company so that they can cover the damages.