This is a list that I put together many years ago after Andrew. Being a life long Floridian I have experienced my share of storms and thought I had my preparation pretty well thought out till Andrew. This list is a result of changes that I and many people suggested and have implemented to make the preparation process easier and not as financially draining. I'll also include it as an attachment if you wish to download.
Well, here we go again, the start of another hurricane season. I wanted to put this list together and would hope the site admin will make this a sticky. I learned a few things after Andrew that I did not have prepared and has to go through the hassle of getting some of the items on this list. The idea here is that you can stock up during the early part of the season for all these items and you'll be good to go when it hits.
Many of us that live in the tropics do not seem to bother to get ready for the season until a storm starts to approach and then watch out! The idea here is to get yourself ready without breaking the bank so here goes:
1. Food: If you are not going to evacuate, then plan on stocking up on canned goods for at least two weeks worth for your family. Take an inventory now of what you need to buy and in not to break the bank, the way to do this:
Starting today, every time that you go to the grocery store, purchase a few of the items on that list. If you go to the store every week, by the time the height of the season hits you will be all set.
Items to get: Foods that do not require refrigeration.
2. Prescriptions: Make sure you have a supply of any prescribed meds available. These may be hard to get after a storm.
3. Water: I never understood why people go out and buy water when there is an easier method. Start to save all the plastic milk jugs and juice jugs that you get with your regular groceries and wash them out when you have finished and store them. When you are threatened by a storm, now is the time to fill the jugs up with your tap water (assuming it is fit to drink), and you don't have to go buy water!
4. Batteries: Same rule as food. Start to buy a pack every time you go to the store till you have enough for your needs.
5. Candles/Kerosene Lamps: Take stock and replenish during one of your grocery outings. Get fuel for the lamps if needed
6. Ice: If you have a freezer or an extra fridge, throw a bag or two of ice in it. Helps to keep things cool when the power goes out, and until you can get your generator going or more ice supplies. You can also take a couple of your gallon jugs of water and freeze those. Cold water and ice to keep the coolers cool.
7. Documentation: Get a hold of your deed, your insurance for the house and cars, place them in a re-sealable baggie and place those in a case or box to take with you should you have to evacuate. Now is the time to review your insurance and change any coverages as needed. When a storm goes in the "BOX" your insurance is frozen and no changes can be made. The idea is to make a bug out bag if you need it.
8. Evacuation plan: If you have to evacuate, make a plan now. Get your contact list together and decide where you will marshal together if your family is separated and you need to evacuate.
9. Fuel containers for the generator, chain saw/propane: If you have them, good for you, if you don't get them now. As for propane, fill your tanks, as sources can get hard to find after a major storm. For the two cycle equipment, make sure you have enough oil for them and container(s) to keep the fuel in.
10. Generators: Now is a good time to take them out of the shed/garage and fire them up to make sure they work. Make sure the oil is fresh and they are ready to go should you need it.
11. Vehicles: Now is also a good time to have your vehicles serviced to be ready to bug out if needed.
12. House preparations: Make sure you can easily get to your shutters and it would be a good idea to test fit a few of them. To this I would ad a role of visqueen to cover furniture etc, several rolls of tape (I prefer duct tape).
13. For the pets: Food for them, water should be taken care of with the jugs.
14. Bug spray: yes the beasties will be out in full force, so a good bug spray is recommended.
15. Weapons and ammunition: Make sure you have your weapons clean, and in readily available, and a supply of ammo. Looters are an issue after a major storm and nothing will stop them from bothering you, till they see that you are armed and ready.
If anyone else can think of things to add to this list, please do so!
Weather Safety Emergency Checklist
Be ready for a weather emergency in advance and put together a basic survival kit.
Bottled drinking water
Canned meat, fish
Plastic forks and cups
Can opener (non-electric)
Batteries for flashlights and radio
Plastic trash bags
Water purifying tablets
Candles and matches
Clothing and bedding
Extra socks and underwear
Sleeping bag and blankets
Washcloth and towel for each person
Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste
Contact lens solution
Hair care items and mirror
Sanitary napkins and tampons
Paper towels, toilet paper
Hearing aid batteries
Watch or clock
Portable radio with fresh batteries
Spare pair of eyeglasses
Important papers (drivers licenses, insurance policies, social security cards)
Toolbox with hammer, nails, screws, screwdrivers and wrenches (to use after the storm to make your home livable again)
Cell phone (take an extra battery or a means to power or charge it)
list of people to contact for emergencies
First Aid Kit:
Keep contents of first aid kit in a waterproof metal or plastic box.
Prescription medicines (four-week supply)
Bandages and Band-Aids
Adhesive tape rolls
First aid handbook
Needle (for splinters)
Items for Infants:
Small toys include favorite stuffed animals
Diapers and baby wipes
Milk or formula
Powders, creams or ointments
Bottles and nipples
Sheets, blankets, rubber pads