There are so many things to do when preparing for a hurricane to potentially hit your area, and it can be hard to prioritize what to do and when to do it. Some of the steps necessary to prep for a storm are more time-sensitive than others, and some are more important. You want to make sure you give yourself as much time as possible to get ready. And as always, make sure you take care of yourself by staying hydrated and wearing protective clothing.
Before a storm threatens/off-season
Buy storm shutters or plywood for all windows and doors
Make any repairs or upgrades to your home, especially the roof
Double check your supplies whether you plan to stay home or evacuate
Fill your vehicles with gas
Plan communication with someone outside the storm area*
Review your evacuation plan/routes, even if you are planning to stay
Check in with elderly and/or disabled neighbors
Backup all essential digital files to an external hard drive
If you know you want to evacuate, prepare your home and leave as soon as possible
18-36 Hours Before Storm
Watch/listen for evacuations and other emergency news
Move all loose items inside or secure so they don’t become projectiles
Board up your windows and any glass doors
Pack your vehicle for a possible emergency evacuation
6-18 Hours Before Storm
Check the news at least every 30 minutes to stay informed about the storm and evacuations/shelter information
Charge your cell phones
Get rest and take a shower, you don’t know how soon you’ll be able to do either during the storm
If you haven’t decided yet, now is the time to either evacuate or stay home
Less than 6 Hours Before Storm
Keep the news/weather on constantly for any updates
Stay away from all windows and doors
Set your refrigerator and freezer to lower settings so the food stays colder longer during power outages
Turn your a/c down to also cool the house slightly before power outages
Fill your tubs with water to use for toilets and washing**
*Remember, when it’s hard to get service on your cell phone, a text will usually go through easier/quicker than a call **Use your bottled water for drinking and cooking, and the tub water for anything else because it won’t be as clean, but also is filled before any boil-water notices may be issued
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