- Get an Emergency Supply Kit,which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car. This kit should include:
- Copies of prescription medications and medical supplies;
- Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows;
- Bottled water, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight;
- Copies of important documents: driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.
- Make sure you have a “to-go bag” ready in case you need to evacuate, include:
- Water and non-perishable food;
- Battery operated radio and batteries so you can get important information from local officials;
- First aid kit;
- Important documents such as proof residence, pictures of your family including pets, insurance policies, and tax records;
- Comfortable clothing and blankets;
- Unique family needs such as prescription medications, pet supplies, infant supplies or any other unique need your family may have;
Step 2: Make a Plan
Prepare your family
- Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency
- Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
- It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
- Plan to Evacuate
- Identify ahead of time where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
- Identify several places you could go in an emergency, a friend's home in another town, a motel or public shelter.
- If you do not have a car, plan alternate means of evacuating.
- If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case you need to evacuate.
- Take your Emergency Supply Kit.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
- Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.
Step 3: Be Informed
Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a hurricane.
- A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area. Be prepared to evacuate. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.
- A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected in your area. If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately.
- Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential. Category Three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes, though Categories One and Two are still extremely dangerous and warrant your full attention.