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Twelve Hurricane Preparation Tips

Updated on January 8, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Hurricane Isabel from ISS


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


Good Water Supply

1. Have drinkable water on 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



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



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


Flashlights, Batteries, Fire Extinguisher

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!

Topping off one's vehicle with gasoline


Full Tank of Gasoline

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.

Keeping extra cash on hand


Important Documents Handy and Cash

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.

First Aid Kit

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


Enough Non Perishable Food on Hand

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.

Nice to be able to Grill...

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


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

Consider Special Needs

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


Are you prepared?

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?

See results

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

© 2016 Peggy Woods


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Glenn,

      Yes these tips work for many other types of storms also.

      We have our first tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico today and even though it is not predicted as of this moment to hit the Houston area, we will be getting a lot of rain out of it. Many parts of our town flood easily if the rains accumulate to many inches in a short amount of time. So this is the season of year all the way through November that it pays to be alert and prepared.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Very useful tips Peggy. Reminds me I should get new batteries for my flashlights. Recently I bought a NOAA weather radio. We don't usually get hurricanes here in New York, but some storms are severe and cause power outages. Your tips work for any storm issues.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 13 months ago

      Good tips, thank you.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 15 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 Woods 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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

      C E Clark 15 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 Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 16 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 Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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

      Linda Crampton 16 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 Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 16 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 Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 16 months ago from Mobile, AL

      One more thing I might 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 Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 16 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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