You should always have an emergency plan in place. This should include a Hurricane Kit, an allocated, all-concrete ”safe room” on the first floor with no windows, knowledge of the nearest hurricane shelter/evacuation routes, and a checklist of things to do. You should act upon your plan when your area is given a hurricane warning.
A checklist should include (but is not limited to):
- Protecting Important Papers/Photos: Put all of important identification, papers and photographs into secure (waterproof, resealable) plastic bags or containers. Store them in the safest place in your home.
- Take Pictures of Your Property: This will help you later on with insurance claims and damage appraising.
- Putting up Shutters on Windows and securing Garage Door: Glass injuries are very common during storms. Securing windows and garage doors will protect your home and reduce damage
- “Check in Contact”: Choose an out-of-state friend or family member as a contact for everyone to call. Every member of your family should know this contact’s phone number.
- Secure Loose Objects and Furniture: This can be outdoor furniture, toys, etc.
- Car: Make your your vehicle is fueled and running smoothly. If you choose to stay at home or in your dorm/apartment, make sure the vehicle is as close it can be to your home as possible or in an enclosed parking garage.
- Close all Interior Doors: To protect you and the rest of your home from flying debris.
- Refrigerator: Set refrigerator controls to the coldest setting. This will keep your food fresh longer. After you have lost power, avoid opening the fridge often to maintain it cold longer.
- Being Informed: It is important to know the updates on the storms, help coming, safety of going outside, etc. You may do this online, however a power outage is not only probably, but almost guaranteed. You should have a battery operated radio and extra batteries so that you and your family may stay informed throughout the storm.