So far we have hit on the very basics a plan,water and food. There is much more to getting ready for a hurricane, even if you are leaving town.
I always say that there is 3 core basic items you need to stay alive no matter what. Food,water and shelter. You can only live 3 days with out water,3 weeks with out food and 3 hours exposed to the elements. During a hurricane you may run into all 3 of those. Shelter is basically what clothing you have on you or plan to wear during/after the storm, and of course your home . If you chose to leave your home a secondary shelter is a must. At minimum a cheap blue tarp!
Speaking of blue tarps.
If you decide to stay the storm through, it would be wise to not only have a secondary shelter in hand- aka a tent. But also a few large poly tarps. These will help protect not only your home but also yourself if they need to be improvised as a shelter. They have a hundred different uses. Outdoor cooking area? sheltered the from the sun/rain. If your using your tent you can help protect the tent with the tarp. Worse case you use the tarp to cover damaged areas in your home or cover furniture and valuables.
If you decide to leave, make sure you have your shelter means covered. While you may plan on staying at the La Quinta Inn off I-95 2 states away, you never know what will happen. It is better to have it with you than to not have it. Make sure you pack your clothing wisely. Not only for space reasons, but also for the changes in climate. You may take that 13 hour ride to the mountains,only to find those flip flops, cargo shorts and button up cotton shirt are not enough for the cool nights and early AM's. Think of it as a "camping" trip or mini vacation. Pack like you would for that. Making the right shelter choices will keep your "vacation" from turning into a wet,damp,cold nightmare that no one in your family or group of friends will forget!
Basic preperations to make.
While we have already gone over some very basic subjects on being ready for a hurricane there is so much more to keep track of and do.
With your plan you should have a check list. A hurricane checklist can be had from most stores/news papers in the southeast now that hurricane season is upon us. They will range from tracking maps with helpful hints to full blown supply check list.
Once you have your plan made up, sit down and make a list of all the items that you will need for those 3-14 days. If you are new to all of this and are buying these items for the first time. It will be helpful and keep you from forgetting what you need. In other words, you get side tracked by the 20 function am/fm weather band super radio and forget your 5 gallons of bottled water! Hey it happens...shiny stuff attracts us right !
A good basic list to start with is the one below-( remember tailor everything to your needs- this list is not complete and only an example of what one may look like)
__ Contact list and contact info and emergency contact numbers ( ems/local police,fire rescue)
__ important documents
__ water- 1 gallon per person per day.
__ food- 3 days
__ cooking source
__ fuel for cooking
__ light source
__ backup light source
__ spare batteries for all electronics
__ spare gas for car
__ first aid kit
Again this is an example list. To show how you can make your own.
There are items on this list that we have not talked about yet.Most I feel are commonsense, but during a stressful event may be forgotten. Like grabbing the flash light but no spare batteries! It happens.
Important documents. This is an item that if you leave your home you will have to take with you. I would recommend all paper work be in a water proof bag and at the minimum be in double bagged zip locks. Make sure that it is kept in a safe spot during your travels! If you decide to stay , make sure you protect them as well. A cheap water proof/fireproof safe will do. I still recommend that the paper work be zip locked at least.
First aid kit. No matter what choice you make,if your staying or leaving. You should have a good first aid kit on hand. These can be purchased through stores or self made from self bought components. My advice, have someone in your family or your complete family take a basic CPR/FA course from local fire rescue or the Red cross. Training is key on first aid and even a basic course may be useful if someone gets injured.
Even your own home or car can hurt you. Hurricanes and damage they cause can be dangerous and lethal. So keep a watchful eye out for safety issues. Make sure your loved ones do as well. An example of what your basic first aid kit should have is ( this is not a complete list, please build/purchase a kit suited to your needs. This is not a complete list)
first aid guide
emergency phone numbers- ems.rescue,fire,leo
Assorted bandages- band aides, 2x2's, 4x4's
medical water proof tape
4 yards of rolled or compressed gauze
4-6 sets of sterile exam gloves( check for latex allergies)
tongue depressors( useful as finger/toe splints)
assorted medications- pain meds,antihistamines, eye wash,electrolyte mixes,triple antibiotic
iodine/90% rubbing alcohol/peroxide one of the 3 at least.
Again this is just a basic list of items. Most kits you can buy from the store contain these and more.Kits you make yourself can be endless to what they contain and should be tailored to your skill level. Make sure you have a kit big enough for the time you have planed for ( 3 days,20 days) and the amount of people in your group.
stay tuned part 3