• Put together a smaller version of your supply kit in a backpack, so you can grab it and go in a hurry.
• Create an emergency communication plan with your family. Ask an out-of-state family member or friend to be your emergency contact in case of separation.
• Identify places where you will go in case you need to evacuate.
• Understanding which evacuation routes you must use as law enforcement will be there to assist you as needed.
• Plan how you will care for your pets in case of evacuation. Pets are not allowed in American Red Cross evacuation shelters for health and safety reasons (service animals excluded). Contact your veterinarian or the Humane Society at http://hsus.org for information regarding sheltering procedures and resources for pets.
• Businesses of all sizes need a plan, too. Visit www.ready.gov/business to prepare your business for the hurricane season.
• Check into flood insurance through your local insurance agent.
72 hours prior to impact
• Monitor current news and weather bulletins on the Web, on social networking sites, on NOAA weather radio, on broadcast TV and cable, and on the radio.
• Fuel and service vehicles.
• Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed.
• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
• Prepare to bring lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects inside.
• Store any recreational equipment, such as boats, RV’s and four-wheelers.
48 hours prior to impact
• Bring in pets.
• Board up windows.
• Remove all objects from around your home that could become dangerous wind-driven projectiles.
• Freeze water to create ice. Insure adequate supplies by storing extra supplies in large bags.
• Turn off propane tanks.
• Keep vehicles full of gas in case of evacuation.
Evacuate when directed by local authorities, or living in a mobile home, on a flood plain, in a high rise, or near an inland water way.
• Follow all directives by your local authorities.
• Use recommended evacuation routes to carefully drive to safe shelter.
• Initiate your contact list.
• Make sure to bring your emergency supplies and documentation.
• Have some cash on hand for food and other essential needs.
• Remember to turn off all the lights, household appliances, gas, heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
• Leave your refrigerator on.
• Secure your home and make arrangements for pets.
• Let others know when you leave and where you are planning to go.
If you are unable to evacuate
• Secure and brace all exterior windows and doors.
• Ensure that your emergency supplies are easily accessible.
• Use telephones only in case of emergencies.
• Don’t go sight-seeing. Stay off the streets and let emergency responders and public workers do their jobs.
24 hours prior to impact
• Listen to local news/radio updates via battery operated weather radio.
• Fill bath tubs and large containers with water to ensure you’ll have an abundant supply of clean water available for drinking, bathing and flushing toilets.
• Turn off all utilities if directed by authorities.
• Unplug all the electronics you were charging and unplug any valuable electronics like your television, stereo, desktop computer, etc. to protect them against surge from lightning strike (and stay off corded phones).
• Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings to keep food cold should you lose power.
• Ensure essential items are available.
• Move to the lowest level of the structure or to an interior room.
• If possible, have a second cell phone battery available and fully charged.
• Plan to locate separated family members. All family members should make contact with their designated individual.
• Secure food and water.
• Find a place to stay.
• Return home safely once advised to do so. While traveling be watchful of any downed power lines, standing water, weak structures, and displaced pets and wildlife.
• Before entering your home, be careful of shifted furniture/appliances, roof or foundation damage, broken or frayed wires, and any standing water that could contain raw sewage.
• When opening doors or cabinets, be careful of any items that can fall.
• During cleanup, throw away any contaminated food or clothing and disinfect any items that can be salvaged.
Visit these Web sites for additional information:
…More at Hurricane awareness timeline: a chronological list of steps you can take … – Weekly Citizen