Twelve Hurricane Preparation Tips

Hurricane Isabel from ISS

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Better to Be Prepared!

Are you prepared for this coming hurricane season? Have you taken all the precautionary steps to ensure the safety of your family?

One time my mother had come for a visit and had to ride out a hurricane with my husband and me in Houston. It was hot and humid and we were without electricity. Fortunately we had enough food and supplies on hand to ride out the storm and aftermath. While it definitely was not fun, it was good that we were prepared in advance of the storm.

These are some of the things that you might wish to prepare ahead of time. Often when hurricanes (also called typhoons or tropical cyclones) occur the stores are crowded with people buying last minute supplies. Some of these things you could have on hand ahead of time and be prepared for other types of emergencies as well.



Bottled water fills an aisle in a supermarket

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Good Water Supply

1. Have drinkable water on hand...at least 1 gallon per person daily for anywhere from 3 to 7 days. When a hurricane is approaching, fill empty buckets, bathtubs and other containers with water. This water can be used to wash hands, flush toilets and the like.

We always fill any empty containers as well as our bathtubs when hurricanes threaten. It is much better to have more water on hand than needed than to wish you had more and not have it available.


Prescription Medications

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Prescriptions

2. Make sure that all of your prescriptions are up to date and that you have a surplus to tide you over until they can once again be filled. That is just good common sense.

Wireless Radio

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3. Buy a NOAA weather radio that can be battery or hand operated so that when the electricity goes out you can still hear the latest news and weather reports.

My hubby and I purchased one that can be run on electricity but also run on batteries. It can also be powered by hand cranking it.

There is nothing worse than not being able to track what a hurricane is doing and to wait it out without any notice.

A radio can be a lifesaver!

It can also fill one in on other information when there is a blackout of electricity or perhaps even play some soothing music if one locates a channel playing it.

Various Types of Batteries

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4. Keep plenty of flashlights and batteries on hand and keep your cell phone charged. Candles are also good but only when attended. Personally I like these new battery operated candles. One does not have to fear a fire if the flames from a real candle get out of hand.

The last thing you need in the midst of a raging hurricane is a fire!

By the way, you should already have a fire extinguisher in your home. Hopefully you will never have to use it but should you need it, it can be lifesaving!

5. Keep your vehicle tanks full of gasoline in case you have to exit quickly. When electricity is out, gasoline pumps will no longer function.

It would be nice to know that you could evacuate if needed at a moments notice should that become a necessity.

Topping off one's vehicle with gasoline

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Keeping extra cash on hand

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6. It is a good idea to keep important documents in a waterproof bag and able to be taken with you in a moment's notice in case you have to evacuate.

7. Keep some cash on hand.

8. A first aid kit could come in handy.

Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!


Emergency First Aid Kit

A Red Cross "ready to go" preparedness kit showing the bag and its contents.
A Red Cross "ready to go" preparedness kit showing the bag and its contents. | Source

Have some extra non perishable foods to have on hand

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9. Food. Keep non-perishable foods on hand...those that do not need refrigeration, and also a non-electric can opener. Paper plates might come in handy when washing dishes becomes a problem.

Prior to the hurricane hitting Houston, some friends of ours who owned a popcorn store in Dallas had sent us a huge can containing three different types of popcorn.

My mother, hubby and I certainly made use of that while our electricity was out. Of course we also had plenty of other types of non-perishable foods on hand...but we will forever remember eating popcorn during that particular hurricane.


10. Grilling of foods can still be done if one has a gas grill or ones operated with charcoal.

Not only will you enjoy some hot prepared food but food already purchased and held in your refrigerator or freezer will not have to go to waste if the electricity is out for an extended time.

Outdoor grill

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Pet care during emergencies...

11. Don't forget your pets! They also need water, food, medications and their immunization records kept up to date. If you have to leave, you will want to have leashes and perhaps carriers or cages for them.

Protect Your Animals in an Emergency

Sound animal disaster preparedness planning should encompass: one week's emergency rations and water; identification tags, leg bands or tattoos; pet first aid kits; and current photos of your animals, filed with your important papers.
Sound animal disaster preparedness planning should encompass: one week's emergency rations and water; identification tags, leg bands or tattoos; pet first aid kits; and current photos of your animals, filed with your important papers. | Source

12. There will be other important items to consider if you have babies or others with special needs.

The main thing is not to be caught off guard or have to scramble and assemble some or all of these things when a hurricane is predicted. It would be smart to keep many of these things on a year round basis...just updating things as necessary to keep them current.

Hurricane and Disaster Emergency Survival List

Aerial view of hurricanes

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Are you prepared for the upcoming hurricane season?

Do you have other tips regarding being prepared?

Many of these same precautions can come in handy for other weather related events as well such as tropical storms.

If you have other suggestions please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks!

Are you prepared?

Do you have all the things readied in preparation for an emergency?

  • No...I had better get busy!
  • I am partially prepared but see that I should do more.
  • Yes...I am pretty well ready should an emergency rear its ugly head.
See results without voting

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

© 2016 Peggy Woods

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15 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Genna,

I just discovered this now because it for some reason ended up in the spam folder. Sorry for the late response. Your additional points are good ones!

Hi Robert,

Glad you liked these tips. Better to always be prepared than not!


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

Good tips, thank you.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Having lived in hurricane territory for many years and experiencing several of these storms (Sandy was the most recent nasty one), I have to say that your preparation list is top notch. I also prefer the battery operated candles since many of the others emit a black soot that will travel through your HVAC system. I can't think of a thing to add to except make sure that your cell phones are fully charged, and that you have keyed in emergency numbers and the call-in numbers for utility companies to report any outages or downed power lines. Excellent hub, Peg.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

Every part of the country has its problems on occasion. Record flooding is making a mess of our city right now. We are OK but a friend of ours in our old subdivision got 3 feet of water in her home. 7 lives were lost at last count. One of the main highways into our area (Highway 6 by the Addicks Reservoir) may be closed for weeks due to high water.

Hurricane season lies ahead! Glad you liked this and thanks for the share.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 months ago from North Texas

Excellent ideas here! We had record snowfalls and lots of blizzards the years our family lived in Boston and without fail everyone would hear the word snow and head for the grocery store literally cleaning the shelves bare where certain items were displayed. It happened every single time. I used to wonder if they used all their flashlights and batteries up every time it snowed. We never lost electricity that I know of.

Another thing that can happen during a hurricane especially, is that everyone decides to leave at once and everyone is lined up at the gas station. :( Have seen those pictures on the news where traffic is bottled up and the lines are long at the gas stations and some of the stations have even run out!

In a really bad flood, which is the biggest problem with hurricanes, even the gas may not be working.

Have been without electricity many a time when I was growing up in the country in Wisconsin. Bad storms, trees down, sometimes flooding. No electricity for days, and that's just the spring/summer. Blizzards in the winter were sometimes pretty challenging too.

A very useful article with lots of good advice. Will share and also pinning to Awesome HubPages. Hope all is well with you . . .


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Frank,

We have been through a number of hurricanes and go into action when one is predicted. We pretty well have it down pat by now! At least with most hurricanes there are days of warnings which is good.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 6 months ago from Shelton

Peggy W this is such a useful hub, we don't think of preparation until the last minute, this is a very useful guide.. bless you Frank


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Alicia,

Earthquakes are certainly scary! Hopefully you won't have to experience a major one in your lifetime. At least that is of little concern where we live. Hurricanes are always a possibility each season.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

These are great tips, Peggy. We don't get hurricanes where I live, but we are in an earthquake zone. We are frequently warned that a major earthquake could happen at any time and that we need to take steps like the ones that you describe.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Rachel,

Nice that you do not at least yet...have to worry about hurricanes. Blessings to you also.


Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 6 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi Peggy, We don't get hurricane's here, not the ones that do damage. Nearby towns do however. I did hear that they are changing their patterns as to where they will appear. I never paid attention to being prepared for one, but now at least I know from your hub. Thanks for the information.

Blessings to you.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Writer David,

I did not even know that battery powered fans were available. Will have to look for some. I agree that any kind of a breeze would help on those hot and humid days following a hurricane. Thanks for the tip!


Writer David profile image

Writer David 6 months ago from Mobile, AL

One more thing I might mention....buy as many battery-powered portable fans as you can get and the batteries needed to power them. You would not believe how thankful you will be to have even a warm breeze blowing in your face. I'm been through approximately two dozen hurricanes living on the gulf coast. The aftermath is almost as bad as the hurricane winds. Almost.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Jackie,

We have actually gone through several hurricanes and have not suffered too badly. Loss of electricity when it is blistering hot is not fun. Listening to the winds can be scary. The time I mentioned with my mother visiting us and the gift of popcorn, we watched a tree in our backyard twist and turn almost hitting the house...then going the opposite direction and almost hitting the fence. It was crooked and leaning after the hurricane was over and we decided to remove the tree.

Glad that the tornado did not hit your house. Those are really scary! Your husband & kids must be sound sleepers.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 6 months ago from The Beautiful South

Wow, great stuff Peggy! We just never know and should always be prepared. The only thing close to that I have experience (thank God) was a tornado in the middle of the night during a snow storm and it started thundering and lightening and the wind howled and I was so scared but stayed in bed and prayed. I had no idea what it was til the next day. My kids and husband slept right through it!

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