Don’t leave anything until the last minute, especially when there is a Category 5 hurricane close to South Florida. With the threatening storm on our tails, gas stations and grocery stores will go empty, and quickly. Follow this comprehensive guide to getting your hurricane prep done.
What to have in your kitchen:
It is always smart to have extra garbage bags and paper towels. It’s handy to have plastic utensils, paper towels, plates and cups, too.
Water: Store at least three gallons of water for each individual living in your house. Three gallons will last three days, and you don’t know how long power will be out, if it does go out.
Food: Keep a three day supply of canned and dry foods. Don’t buy anything perishable or that needs refrigeration, such as dairy products, fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and meat. Avoid thirst-inducing foods, which include foods high in sodium and sugar. Make sure you have enough food if you have pets in your house. Most importantly, remember to have a can opener. Here are some non-perishable foods that are easy to store and eat:
Snack foods: Oatmeal packs, chips, pretzels, cheese crackers, bread, trail mix, granola bars, apple sauce, fruit cups
Canned items: Vegetables, fruit, soup, beans, pasta, tuna, sardines, rice, dried fruits, macaroni and Cheese, nut butters, Nutella, Pop-Tarts
What to have in your house:
1. Sandbags: put those by the door inside your house. This will prevent water from seeping inside your house.
2. Cash: get to an ATM and withdraw cash.
6. First Aid Kit
7. Copies of your key documents like passport, social security, insurance and bank cards. Seal them in a plastic bag or container that’s easily accessible to you.
How to prep your vehicle:
1. Fill it up with gas. Keep an extra gallon in the trunk if possible.
2. Keep basic emergency supplies, like a first aid kit and water bottles in your car.
3. Make sure you have important documents, like your registration and car insurance information, in the vehicle.
4. Park it in a secure, indoor location, like a garage.
Note: It is extremely dangerous to drive during any part of a hurricane. Stay off the roads until you are given an all-clear from local officials. Keep off flooded roadways.
How to prep your smartphone:
1. Back up your phone to your computer.
2. Keep it charged and keep a portable charger with full battery.
3. Make sure important GPS apps are available offline.
4. Download a free emergency preparedness app to help you in a time of crisis, like the Shelter Finder app, First Aid and Hurricane app.
5. Keep your phone in a waterproof case or a Ziploc bag.
6. If there is no cell service, make sure to download Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber or Whatsapp so you can make phone calls via Wi-Fi.
Featured photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture Flickr page.