Hurricane season is here. Are you and your family ready? Here are a few tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.
Before the Storm – Be Ready to Evacuate
- Make sure you have an Emergency Kit ready for the season, your kit should include:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for three days)
- Battery power or crank radio
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Make sure you have included your pets and their needs (food, medicine, leashes, crates, etc) in your evacuation plans.
- Gather important documents (your marriage certificate, mortgage, title, insurance papers, passports, etc) and secure them in a weatherproof case.
- Make sure cell phones are charged at all times.
- Map out hurricane evacuation routes for your area. Determine where you will go during an evacuation and how you will get there.
- Make plans to protect the windows and doors of your home. At Make It Right, we use hurricane fabric, a sustainable, safe and affordable alternative to plywood. Watch the video below to learn more.
- Be sure that trees and shrubs around the house are trimmed.
- Gather the information you need to shut off utilities to your home if you must evacuate for more than a few days.
- ALWAYS evacuate if your city issues an evacuation order.
If your city is in the area of a hurricane but an evacuation order is not issued, here are some tips to weather the storm:
- Listen to your radio or TV for information. Have a hand-cranked or battery powered radio on hand in case you lose power.
- Make sure to inform a family member or friend of your evacuation plans in case you need to evacuate at some point.
- Secure your windows and doors with hurricane fabric (see video above), shutters or plywood.
- Fill up your bathtub with water and stock up on bottled water in case your water supply is cut off.
- Make sure to buy non-perishable food items like peanut butter. Here’s a good list of what to keep in your pantry.
- Assign a wind-safe room in case weather conditions worsen.
- NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
Once the storm has passed, keep the following in mind:
- If you’ve evacuated, do not return until local officials say it is safe.
- If you have been separated from your family, American Red Cross can help you find them. Check this website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS / 1-800-733-2767.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your home inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
- If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 70116).
Remember that hurricanes are unpredictable – the best plan is to be prepared and ALWAYS evacuate if your local officials give the order.
For more tips, click here.
For those in the New Orleans area below are a few more resources to help you plan: