As hurricane season ramps up, preparation is key to keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit This is the first thing on the Red Cross list to make sure your family is ready for an emergency. The kit should include a 3-day supply of water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, first aid kit, family and emergency contact info, extra cash, a map of the area and more. The Red Cross urges the importance of adding supplies to your kit based off the needs of all your family members.
- Have an emergency plan: Be sure to review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family and make an evacuation plan that includes pets, if relevant. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
- Protect your home: When a hurricane is less than two days away, bring in any loose or lightweight objects that could get picked up during high winds. Also, anchor down objects that would be unsafe to bring inside. Be sure to cover all of your windows. If you don't have permanent hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
The Red Cross also offers a one-page safety checklist to make sure you have everything you need to be prepared before the storm hits.
- Don't forget about electronics: Unplug all of your electronics. If you live in a low-lying area that’s flood-prone, make sure all of your electronics, perishables and valuables are off the ground.
Power could be out for a long time, so make sure to purchase and charge batteries before the storm hits.
- Fill the tub: If it is a big storm, your electricity may be out, and your water stop flowing as well.
Fill the tub and washer with water. This isn't to drink. It will be used for very important things like flushing your toilet.
And even If your water does keep flowing, make sure it is safe to drink. A lot of times during these hurricanes, water supplies get contaminated.