Before a Hurricane

  • Know your Emergency Shelters – Contact the National Disaster Office for the closest shelters.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand – these include flashlights and extra batteries; portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries; first aid kit; non-perishable (canned food) and water; non-electric can opener; essential medicines; cash and credit cards; sturdy shoes.
  • Protect your windows – Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood–marine plywood is best–cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.
  • Trim back branches from trees – Trim branches away from your home and cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property.
  • Check into your Home and Auto Insurance – Confirm that policies are valid and coverage is appropriate.
  • Make arrangements for pets and livestock – Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on animal shelters.
  • Develop an emergency communication plan –  Make sure that all family members know what to do. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

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