Hurricane Preparedness Month: How to Be Prepared and Stay Safe
In May, at the start of hurricane season, we wrote about National Hurricane Preparedness week and gave you 7 recommendations for each day of the week on how to prepare for a hurricane.
This time of year, August through October, generally sees the most activity in the Atlantic, with September often experiencing the highest frequency and severity of hurricanes which is why September is also National Preparedness Month. It’s good to acknowledge this reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us because it’s not just for hurricane-triggered emergencies. So, let’s dive into some of those don’t-forget-details to make sure you’re prepared as possible for whatever the weather may throw at you.
One key survival element is potable water. You’ll need at least one gallon, per person, per day. Make sure you have enough food and water to last each person five to seven days. This is the minimum. Consider adding two or more quarts of water per person each day for things like washing your face and brushing your teeth. For food, canned or vacuum-packed goods like fruit, vegetables, soups, chili, tuna, chicken or turkey. Add nuts, trail mixes, protein bars, raisins, peanut butter and crackers for additional nutrition and sustenance that will last a while. Store all these supplies in an easily-accessible, water-proof container.
Having a backup power option like a generator will help relieve some of the stress and worry often faced during an extreme weather event. It can provide power for radios, TV’s and cell phones to stay in touch, electricity for heat or air conditioning if temperatures become extreme, and it can prevent perishable food from spoiling. There are many backup power options including automatic home-installed standby generator systems or portable generators*. Visit a generator dealer to get your questions answered or check out this generator buying guide to see which option might be right for you.
On a smaller scale, make sure you have a portable charging device for your cell phone. If power is knocked out, a portable phone charger will help make sure you’re still connected. Find a charger that can hold its charge for at least six months, is compact and will hold enough power to fully charge your phone multiple times.
In another waterproof container, make sure you have multiple flashlights, a lantern and a battery-powered radio, along with unopened batteries. Also include gauze, bandages, rubbing alcohol or antiseptic wipes, over-the-counter pain and cold medicine, and non-refrigerated cold packs.
Stay safe this storm season by getting the preparation out of the way beforehand. Creating an emergency plan and preparing materials ahead of time is the best way to help you and your family stay safe so you can then help your neighbors and community.
*Portable Generators Manufacturers Association (PGMA) urges users to Take It Outside™ and that all portable generators should be used safely and in accordance with the owner’s manual provided by the manufacturer. See http://www.pgmaonline.com/default.asp for more details.