Hurricane Preparedness Guide
How to Prepare For a Hurricane
Nothing you can do will mitigate the strength of a hurricane, but there is plenty you can do before it hits to get ready. This hurricane preparednes survival guide walks you through the main ways to prepare for the storm and links out to even more information.
You need to expect that a hurricane will significantly impact your day-to-day life. School and work will probably shut down, and the stores will start running out of supplies due to panic buying and disruptions in the supply chain. If you order anything online, expect major shipping delays. Accepting reality early will help you better prepare for the hurricane than the person who remains in denial until the eye of the storm is over their roof.
Do Your Research
It's important to be aware of your surroundings. Are you in an evacuation zone? Do you have an evacuation plan? Do you live in a flood plane?
Ask yourself these questions before the storm hits. Every household should have a family emergency preparedness plan for any natural disaster that strikes, including hurricanes. Ensure everyone know what to do and where to go when the crisis arrives.
After a hurricane, the power can go out for days or weeks. People will also panic and start buying everything up from the stores, especially toilet paper and food.
With this in mind, it's smart to stock up on necessities before the storm hits. Don't wait, plan ahead. You'll want to stock up on the following items.
- Sanitary water
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights & Batteries
- 12-volt/Car adapter to charge electronics
- First-Aid Kit
Be sure to check out our hurricane preparedness list of supplies to learn more about stocking up for a hurricane.
Prepare for Power Outages
Keep the following in mind when preparing for a hurricane power outage.
If you're lucky enough to already own a generator or can get your hands on one, there are a few things to keep in mind.
They require gas, oil, and power cords to generate and provide electricity for your refrigerator, lights, sump pumps, and more. Just be absolutely sure never to run a portable generator inside your home, garage, or near open windows or doors. The exhaust given off by a gas-powered generator contains carbon monoxide and can be deadly. It’s important to know how to run a generator safely.
Generator Power Cords
Once your generator is running, it’s generating electricity. However, you’ll need generator power cords to transfer that electricity to the appliances you wish to power.
Make sure you choose power cords that match the wattage of your generator. Each cord will list its maximum watts, and it’s better to oversize the cord than to undersize it.
Also make sure that the length of your generator power cords are sufficient for reaching your appliances from the generator outside, as it’s not recommended that you connect multiple power cords in a single strand.
Gas Cans for Refueling
First off, it’s important to note that you should have a stockpile of at least 25-30 gallons of gasoline on-hand in case of an extended power outage.
If you run out, you’ll be fighting long lines at the local gas stations, and that’s assuming that the pumps haven’t already run out of gas. It’s recommended that you have a 5-gallon can of gasoline for refueling and a larger 25-gallon fuel tank for reserves.
Fresh Generator Oil for Extended Outages
If you’re facing a post-hurricane power outage, you may be providing your own power for an extended period of time.
When you’re running your generator for that long, you’ll have to perform oil changes to keep the engine in peak running condition. With roads closed and everyone relying on backup power, you may have a hard time running out to get a quart of oil, so grab it when you get your generator. Learn how to maintain your generator in extreme conditions.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
If you follow these hurricane preparedness tips, you'll have nothing to do during a hurricane other than hunker down and stay out of the elements. National Hurricane Preparedness Week occurs every year in the beginning of May and is an excellent time to develop a hurricane safety plan.
Check out our series of hurricane preparation articles linked below for more hurricane safety tips and ideas to weather the storm.
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