Regardless of how safe you play it, sometimes, disaster strikes, and this is especially pertinent for those who live in states with high hurricane risks. According to Cummins Inc., the 2017 hurricane season was one of the most devastating to date, with the three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria – leaving over 10 million people in the United States without power. To help prep your space, and your family, for incoming storms, consider the following:
Secure your home and make sure you have a disaster kit ready to go.
– A copy of all important documents in a waterproof bag. This includes driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, social security cards, property deeds, wills, bank information, etc.
– A flash drive with photographs of your home’s inventory; make sure to update this regularly!
– Sturdy shoes and a helmet, in case you encounter debris as you evacuate.
– A paper map of your area; GPS, Internet and cell service may be down.
– $100 cash in single dollar bills; ATMs and banks may be out of commission and businesses may not be able to make change.
– Other important supplies like bottled water, non-perishable foods, prescription refills, extra batteries and a NOAA-weather radio.
– Build a vehicle-friendly disaster kit. This should include all the items listed above as well as jumper cables, extra wiper fluid, an ice scraper for the windows, etc.
– Make sure you have flood insurance. This tends to have a longer wait time than other insurances, so you’ll want to make sure you’re enrolled as early as possible.
– Survey your property for items that may need repair. Check shutters, walkways and storage spaces. Trim or clear overgrown vegetation. Check for loose or hanging shingles and roof leaks. Clean out gutters and chimneys.
– Develop a long-term power plan that covers a few weeks and includes back-up power generation. A standby generator restores power automatically, even when no one is home.
If you have pets, be ready with:
– Enough food and water to last them a week.
– A photo of you with your pet to prove ownership if they go missing. If your pet is microchipped, make sure that their information and tags are up-to-date.
– A copy of your pets’ vaccination records and a current rabies vaccination tag; keep these in your disaster kit.
– A sturdy carrier or extra leash and collar. Know where you can take your pets if you need to evacuate.
If you will be responsible for an older adult or children, make sure you have:
– Back-up medical necessities. This includes a backup power source for any medical devices and at least a two-week supply of medication.
– If necessary, make sure your elderly relative or young child has an ID bracelet or USB emergency ID band with important contact and medical information to wear in the event you are separated.
– A mini emergency kit for school; this should be enough to get them home or to supplement classroom emergency supplies.
– A favorite toy or security blanket; this can help keep an anxious child calm if there are loud noises or there is a need to evacuate.
Source: Cummins Inc.
Published with permission from RISMedia.