Storm Preparation for Your
Family and Home
Before Hurricane Season
Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit
- Water. Minimum 1 gallon per day, per person for one week. Two quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation or sanitation.
- Food. One week supply of non-perishable food. Include a non-electric can opener, cooking tools, camping stove, paper plates and plastic utensils. Remember special dietary needs for infants, pets and the elderly, including disposable bottles and liners..
- Clothing. Include rain gear and sturdy shoes. Pack extra clothing for babies and the elderly.
- Medicines and prescription drugs, including health insurance cards. Bring at least a two weeks supply and carry your prescriptions in the bottles..
- First aid kit. Aspirin, bandages and gauze pads, antiseptics, ,ice/heat packs, latex gloves, first aid cream, scissors, tweezers and a thermometer.
- Flashlights and batteries.
- Cell phone chargers and keys.
- Battery-operated radio.
- Cash with small bills and credit cards. ATMs may not be available.
- Bleach and antibacterial soap.
- Toilet paper, paper towels, moisture wipes and personal hygiene items.
- Plastic bags and tarps.
- Fire extinguisher, Tool kit and matches.
- Pillows and blankets.
- Insect repellent.
- Pet care items. Proper identification, immunization records, medicines, food and water, pet carrier/cage and muzzle/leash.
- Store items in a watertight container.
- Keep canned foods dry and cool.
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic containers
- Change stored food and water supplies every 6 months. Be sure to write the date on the items.
- Keep your entire disaster kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers.
Prepare an Evacuation Plan
- Learn your community’s evacuation routes.
- Have a destination in mind.
- Select a common meeting place or point of contact for all family members in case you are separated during the evacuation process. Be sure all family members have contact names and numbers in writing.
- Plan for your pets’ needs in advance. Board pets out of harm’s way, or take them with you. Check ahead of time to find pet friendly hotels and be prepared to pay a non-refundable pet deposit.
If you do not or cannot evacuate
- Identify a “shelter” room in your home if you cannot evacuate. This should be an enclosed room in the center of the house away from windows. If your house has more than one floor, identify a shelter room or area on each floor.
- Be sure someone knows you are sheltering at home.
- Be sure to have a spare phone battery, fully charged, with you at all times.
Protect your personal items and important documents
- Speak with your insurance agent to be sure your coverages and limits are adequate to repair or rebuild your home. Remember: Homeowner’s policies usually do NOT cover loss due to flooding. A separate Flood insurance policy must be purchased THIRTY DAYS IN ADVANCE of its effective date.
- Verify that your emergency generator or sump pump is in good working order.
- Inventory and photograph jewelry and collectibles, save to a disk to take along. Obtain an inland bank safety deposit box several rows off the ground, for off-site storage or put in a watertight container in an interior closet.
- Gather valuable documents and store in a watertight container. Include:
- Legal papers, vehicle titles, deeds, birth, naturalization, divorce and adoption records, passports, living wills, powers of attorney, child custody papers, marriage licenses, children’s immunization records, pet vaccination records, computer disks of photographs that would be impossible to replace.
- Financial documents, stocks and bonds, contact information for brokerage and bank accounts, credit cards, backup computer disk for financial management software, and the first two pages of your latest income tax forms.
- Insurance – copy of your policies, including vehicles, boats, health and life, agent’s contact information, appraisals, home improvement records, written description of your home’s contents and photos, disks or videos of your home and possessions.
If a Hurricane Watch Is Issued
- Activate your Emergency Action Plan
- Monitor the radio, TV or Weather Channels for official bulletins
- Move vehicles and generators to a secure location
- Inspect storm, roof and floor drains to be sure they are clear and functional
- Arrange to cover all windows and doors
- Anchor or bring in all outside equipment
- Remove awnings and lightweight outdoor coverings
- Stock up on sandbags
- Protect vital records against flooding and wind. Elevate items off the floor onto furniture or shelves
- Stock up on non-perishable food, first aid supplies, drinking water and other supplies for emergency staff
- Freeze a cup of water in your freezer and when it’s frozen, put a penny on the top. Check the cup when you return and, if the penny sinks to the bottom, your freezer defrosted.
If a Hurricane Warning Is Issued
- Monitor the radio, TV and Weather Channels closely
- Cover windows and doors
- Shut off pipes and electricity.
- Move to a safe area before flooding occurs. Use sandbags if necessary.
- If you must stay in the building:
- Close all interior doors
- Secure and brace external doors
- Stay away from windows and doors
- Take refuge in a small interior room, such as a bathroom, closet or hallway
- In a multiple-story building, go to the second floor. Lay on the floor under a table or sturdy object.
After a Disaster –Tips for Returning to Normal
Immediately Following a Storm
- Do not attempt to drive across flooded areas. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Two feet of water will carry away most cars.
- Avoid standing water which may be electrically charged from downed power lines.
- Inspect the building to verify stability. Photograph and document all damage. Notify your insurance agent.
- Have professionals check gas, water, electrical lines and appliances.
- Make temporary repairs to protect the building and contents. Discard any visibly contaminated or suspicious materials.
- Use a flashlight instead of candles or open flames for lighting. Only use tap water for drinking and cooking after officials have reported it safe.
- Use masks when working around mold or toxic dust.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
- Discard cookware and kitchen utensils that may have come in contact with flood water.
- Investigate the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems before turning them back on. Be sure all systems are professionally cleaned and tested for safety. Replace all filters.
- Clean and test fire, smoke and security alarm systems.
- When using a generator, be sure the main circuit breaker is off and locked out prior to starting the generator. This prevents inadvertent energizing of power lines.
- Portable generators should never be connected directly to a home’s wiring, even through an outlet. Lights or appliances should be plugged directly into the proper electrical outlet on the generator itself. Keep extension cords out of the way to prevent tripping hazards.
- Standby, built-in generators should always be installed by a qualified, licensed electrician with proper permits filed before installation.
- Never use a generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, including homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, etc., even with ventilation, to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust. You cannot smell or see carbon monoxide. If you experience dizziness, weakness or sickness while using a generator, get to fresh air right away.
- Let the generator cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
Presented by: Eagan Insurance Agency