The United States East Coast is bracing itself for what looms to be one of the strongest hurricanes so far this year. Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is expected to reach the southern part of the East Coast, particularly North and South Carolina, on Thursday.
Hopefully, you’re reading this before Hurricane Florence makes landfall. That will give you a bit more time to prepare if you haven’t already. Even if you’re reading this late, you still have to consider making an emergency pan, reading up on hurricane emergency tips, and building your hurricane survival kit. That’s because Florence may not be the last potentially destructive tropical storm to hit the country. In fact, we have Isaac and Helene waiting on the sidelines. Hurricane Isaac is currently downgraded to tropical storm but there’s still a chance it could worsen as it hits Lesser Antilles Islands also on Thursday. Fortunately, Hurricane Helene doesn’t pose a threat to landlubbers.
Florence is bent on releasing hell on the East Coast and the best way for people in the area to survive its onslaught is to brush up on different hurricane emergency tips. They should also start acting now.
Hurricane Emergency Tips Before the Storm
Fortify and Secure Your Homes and Businesses
Do some last-minute repairs if necessary. Make sure your roof has no leaks and the panels are secured. They should be able to withstand the strong winds. Close all windows and doors. Cover them with plywood if needed. This is important for business establishments with huge display windows and glass doors. You can also attach shutters to your windows.
Check the rest of your property. Look for things that can be dislodged or thrown by the strong winds. Secure them or bring them inside. If you keep your pets outdoors, bring them inside, as well.
Keep your eyes and ears glued to the TV. If power goes out, listen intently to your NOAA Weather Radio. Watch out for any announcements and important news from the National Weather Service.
Charge All Devices
While the storm hasn’t hit yet, make sure your phones, tablets, laptops, power banks, and other devices have lots of juice. You will need them, phones in particular, to communicate with other people. You’ll also appreciate fully-charged rechargeable lights and fans once power goes out. If the storm is accompanied by thunder and lightning, unplug all your devices at once.
Fill ‘Er Up
Go to the nearest station and fill up your vehicle before the hurricane hits. If possible, bring gas cans for extra supply of fuel. One of the after effects of a devastating hurricane is an increase in fuel prices.
Turn Your Refrigerator Up
Power usually goes out in the event of a hurricane. Turn your fridge and freezer in their coldest settings so your food will last longer. Make sure you avoid opening them too much to keep the cold inside.
Learn About Local Hurricane Response Plan
Take the time to find out what the community has planned in terms of natural disasters and emergences such as the coming Hurricane Florence. These vital pieces of information will help you make your own emergency plan for your family.
If you live in the Carolinas and neighboring states, you should be reading this from a safe area far from home. Authorities have already begun evacuating these places. You should be in an evacuation center or in another state right now with your bug our bags or hurricane emergency kit. If there are no announcements yet, stay tuned and be ready to bug out once the orders to evacuate come.
Make sure you have enough supplies in your home. Ideally, you should be restocking your prepper pantry every now and then. In case your pantry is a little bare, you may need to go on some last-minute grocery shopping. This will likely be a less-than-thrilling scenario since many people will be doing the same thing as you. Just go now and buy everything you need and consider this a lesson learned. Hurricane or not, you should keep your pantry stocked up.
Build Your Bug Out Bag
Among the many hurricane emergency tips, having a bug out bag is perhaps the most important one that will help you survive outside your home. Your hurricane emergency kit should include everything you may need to overcome the disaster. This should include ample food and water along with some survival gear.
Hurricane Emergency Gear and Supplies
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are four major hurricane emergency tips you need to know. These are tasks you must do in preparation for a hurricane. First, you must have an emergency water supply. You also need to stock up on emergency food and medicine supply. Also, you need to gather safety items. Finally, grab all your important personal items.
In SHTF scenarios such as the coming Hurricane Florence, you must prepare enough water for every member of your family, including your pets. Make sure you prepare at least 5 gallons of water for each one of you. This should last you 3 to 5 days. Of course, the more you have, the better your chances of surviving the storm and the chaos that ensues.
You also need clan containers for gathering water in case there is a source of clean water nearby. If you run out of clean water, you can purify dirty water so they’ll be safe to drink. You’ll need water purification tablets, iodine, and chlorine bleach for this. Personal water filters are also great to have. Make sure each one of you has their own.
As with water, your food supply in your bug out bags should be good for 3 to 5 days. Your pantry should also be well stocked with food with long shelf life. Canned goods and MREs are popular among the prepper community and you should have some in your BOB and pantry, as well. You can also pack some energy bars, nuts, sunflower seeds, trail mix, instant oatmeal, peanut butter, candies, chocolate, mac and cheese, beef jerky, and freeze dried meals. Don’t forget the can opener for your canned goods.
Supplies for Babies and Young Children
It’s trickier if you have an infant or a young child with you. Make sure you pack enough of their food. If your child is still nursing, you may want to pack a breast pump and some milk bottles. It may get too stressful for nursing moms to produce milk so it’s a good thing if they have some kept in the freezer. Don’t forget other baby supplies such as diapers and baby wipes. For small children, bring some stuff that will keep them entertained such as board games, toys, coloring books, and playing cards.
Emergency Gear for Safety
First Aid Kit
Make sure your first aid kit contains items you can use for any emergency situation. Some of the common contents of a first aid kit include gauze dressings, bandages, unscented antiseptic wipes, cloth tape, thermometer, tweezers, safety pins, and disposable gloves. Other items you may need to purchase separately are distilled water, tourniquet, cold compress, and N95 masks. You also need ointments, antihistamines, aspirins and other medicines. If you or anyone in your family has an existing condition, you must stock up on the prescribed medications. Ideally, you need at least a 7-day supply in your BOB.
As mentioned earlier, you need some way to stay connected. You need communication tools such as your phones and other devices with you. Pack extra batteries so you don’t have to worry when power goes out. In case things take longer than expected, you may want a CB radio or walkie talkies to communicate. A battery-powered or hand-crank radio will also be handy.
Pack flashlights, headlamps, LED lanterns, rechargeable lamps, and candles in your bug out bag and in your home. A little light will go a long way in keeping you sane during all the chaos.
Clothing and Sleeping Gear
Comfort and privacy are two things compromised when you have to evacuate your home. Each one of you should have your own sleeping bag, blanket, and a small pillow or an inflatable one. You can also pack a tent big enough to fit the whole gang. This will at least give you some privacy.
Make sure you pack extra clothes and clothes for different weather conditions. Since you’re dealing with a monster hurricane, pack some warm clothes and rain gear. You will also need an emergency blanket and a poncho.
Other Survival Gear
Most if not all lists of hurricane emergency tips will tell you to pack survival gear in your bug out bag. These items often include a multi-purpose tool, whistle, signal mirror, fire starters and a fire extinguisher. Insect repellent will keep the bugs away and let you have your much-needed shuteye. Sunscreen, meanwhile, will keep your skin healthy if you have stay under the sun (provided the sun is out where you evacuated).
Personal Hygiene and Sanitation
It’s important to stay healthy during the ordeal. One way to do so, and this is one of those hurricane emergency tips that are often overlooked, is to include items for personal hygiene in your survival kit. Pack a bar of soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, ear buds, a comb or brush, hand towels or washcloths, tissue wipes, and sanitary pads.
You also need to keep your surrounding clean. Garbage bags can be used for different survival hacks but you need to pack some for your trash. An extended stay in a shelter is particularly difficult if you need to go. These shelters will likely provide portalets but you still need to pack some items to make things sanitary. Bring tissue paper, mist towelettes, and even a bucket with toilet seat if you’re staying outdoors.
Another one of the significant hurricane emergency tips that some people overlook is to secure important documents and other personal items. Produce extra copies of birth certificates, marriage contracts and other documents then seal them in a waterproof container along with some photographs of the family and your properties (for insurance purposes).
Documents and Cash
Another one of the significant hurricane emergency tips that some people overlook is to secure important documents and other personal items. Produce extra copies of birth certificates, marriage contracts and other documents then seal them in a waterproof container along with some photographs of the family and your properties (for insurance purposes). Keep some money and credit cards in a waterproof container.
These hurricane emergency tips exist for a reason and that’s to keep you alive during and after this natural disaster. Hurricane Florence is fast approaching and it’s about time that you make the necessary preparations.
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