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Twelve Hurricane Preparation Tips

Updated on August 19, 2019
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Hurricane Isabel from International Space Station
Hurricane Isabel from International Space Station | Source

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 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. These are some of the 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
Bottled water fills an aisle in a supermarket | Source

#1. Good Water Supply

Have drinkable water on hand at least one gallon per person daily for anywhere from three to seven 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
Prescription Medications | Source

#2. Prescriptions

Make sure that all of your medicines 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
Wireless Radio | Source

#3. Radio

Buy an 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 runs on batteries. The radio can also be powered by hand-cranking.

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
Various Types of Batteries | Source

#4. Flashlights, Batteries, Fire Extinguisher

Keep plenty of flashlights and batteries on hand and keep your cell phone charged. Candles are also good but only when closely monitored. 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 amid 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
Topping off one's vehicle with gasoline | Source

#5. Full Tank of Gasoline

Keep your vehicle tanks full of gasoline in the case of an impending storm. 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.

Source

#6 and #7. Keep Important Documents Handy Plus Cash

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

Keep some cash on hand. You never know what you might have to purchase, and banks may be closed.

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

#8. Emergency First Aid Kit

A first aid kit could come in handy. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!

Have some extra non perishable foods to have on hand
Have some extra non perishable foods to have on hand | Source

#9. Keep Nonperishable Foods on Hand

Keep nonperishable 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.

Before the hurricane that hit 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 nonperishable foods on hand, but we will forever remember eating popcorn during that particular hurricane.

Outdoor grill
Outdoor grill | Source

#10. Alternative Cooking Methods

The 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.

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

#11. Pet Care During Emergencies

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 at the ready.

Disposable Diapers
Disposable Diapers | Source

#12. Consider Special Needs

There will be other vital 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.

You wouldn't want to run out of diapers for your baby as an example. Would you?

Are You Prepared?

Are you ready 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!

Aerial view of hurricanes
Aerial view of hurricanes | Source

Are you prepared?

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

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Peggy Woods

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