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Storm Preparation Checklist

Secure your home

  • Close storm shutters or board up windows.
  • Secure outdoor patio furniture, toys and other items that could be caught by the wind and either become lost or make contact with people or property.
  • Clear recently trimmed or piled limbs and debris.

Create a "to do" list

  • Plan your evacuation route and leave as soon as possible (24 to 36 hours before landfall).
    Check routes: Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
  • Ensure family members are aware of your route.
  • Ensure automobiles are fueled and are in travel-ready condition.
  • Photograph or video the inside and outside area around your home for potential insurance needs.
  • Make a list of important phone numbers and family contact numbers.
  • Put all important documents in a waterproof container.
  • Plan ahead for special or medical needs of family members.
  • Make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged.
  • Plan for the safety of large animals living outside.
  • Make provisions for a generator, if needed.
  • Test generator outside of home to ensure it works.
  • Fill fuel containers for possible generator use.
  • Fill propane bottles or purchase charcoal and lighter fluid for outside grilling.
  • Fill a bathtub with water to flush the toilet.
  • Fill plastic jugs or cartons 2/3 full with water and place in freezer to fill empty spaces.

Establish a supply kit

Your kit should contain:

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable foods (canned meats, soups, puddings, fruit, peanut butter)
  • Manual can opener, utensils, plates, cups, moist wipes, paper towels, etc.
  • Three-day supply of water (at least one gallon per person for each day)
  • Supplies for infants (diapers, formula, food, bottles)
  • Medicines (prescriptions and over-the-counter)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries and bulbs
  • Portable radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cash
  • Cooler
  • Extra clothes
  • Personal toiletries
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Insect repellent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Insurance policies, property titles, personal identification, wills, deeds, etc.
  • Pet food if needed
  • Vet records in case you need to board your pet while traveling (also needed to cross some state lines)

Food Safety

  • Food will defrost more rapidly in a refrigerator/freezer combination (keeping time is 12 to 24 hours).
  • If a stand-alone freezer is full, food will stay frozen for about 48 hours. If it is half full, it will stay frozen for about one day.
  • Dry ice can keep food frozen a couple of days. Put cardboard directly on the frozen food and put the dry ice on top of the cardboard. Do not touch the dry ice with ungloved hands and do not breathe the fumes. Twenty-five pounds of dry ice should hold the temperature of a full 10 cubic foot freezer below freezing for three to four days if dry ice is used immediately after freezer goes off. Food in a half-full freezer will stay frozen for about two to three days.
  • If food still contains ice crystals or is at a temperature of 40 degrees or below, it is safe to refreeze.
  • If food is above 40 degrees, throw it out.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture