Remember to have a stash of flashlights, candles, and extra batteries on hand for when the power goes out. Don’t forget to check battery compatibility.
Write-down copies of all important phone numbers (family, friends, insurance companies, and emergency services). In today’s digital age, very few of us still commit numbers to memory. If you cell phone dies, you need to still have access to these essential contacts!
Visit the bank ahead of the storm and pull cash! Getting access to money after a storm with widespread power outages can be a challenge.
Create a first aid kit with all of the essentials. Make it portable and include antibacterial cream, assorted bandages, sterile gauze, disposable gloves, tweezers, scissors, antiseptic wipes, OTC pain killers, adhesive cloth medical tape, and at least 5 days of any essential prescription medications for each family member. Pharmacies may be temporarily closed after a hurricane if strong damage/flooding arises, and access to medical providers may be limited.
Review your homeowners/renters/flood insurance policies ahead of the storm. Take photos of your home and business inside and out.
Fully charge all laptops, cell phones, devices, and essential electronics. Preserve the battery power during the storm. Don’t forget to completely fill your vehicle’s gas tank!
Prep your yard ahead of the storm. If it isn’t tied down/anchored, move it inside (signs, children’s toys, yard decor, bird feeders, etc). Placing items in a garage or storage shed is best. You want to minimize the risk of flying projectiles hitting your windows and screens. Don’t forget to drain the pool!
If you have a grill, extra propane tanks can allow you to do some cooking AFTER the storm even if you are still experiencing a power outage.
Have activities on hand to keep kids occupied (board games, cards, coloring books, etc).
If you have an infant, remember to have extra formula and diapers on hand!
Don’t forget the insect repellent. As water rises and sits stagnant after a storm, mosquitoes will congregate!
Don’t forget to take care of your pets! Stock up on pet food (minimum 1 week worth) and remember to set fresh water aside for all animals as well. If you are evacuating be sure to make safe accommodations for all of your animals. Please do NOT just leave them behind. Check evacuation shelters and hotel policies for pets IN ADVANCE to avoid unnecessary complications. Never assume! Don’t forget to bring your pet’s favorite toy or blanket to help minimize their stress levels. Collars with identification tags/contact info are always a smart precaution! Animals will be scared, use a pet carrier for transportation if size appropriate. This will minimize separation accidents. For larger animals, use a slip leash to help prevent a startled animal from slipping out of a traditional collar and running away.