Re-Printed from our friends at Plymouth Rock/Bunker Hill
Basic steps that you can take to make sure that you are prepared should a hurricane strike:
- Create a “Family Emergency Plan” – you want to ensure that every family member knows how to reach or reconnect with each other.
- Post emergency numbers (fire, police, ambulance) by the phone. Teach children how to call 911 for help. Identify family meeting places in case you are separated. Choose a place in a building or a park outside your neighborhood. Everyone should be clear about this location.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family's contact.
- Make sure everyone knows the telephone number of this contact.
- Assemble an “Emergency Supply Kit” – your kit should include basic food supplies and water to keep you and your family going for a minimum of 3 days. In addition, you should have a 30-day supply of medications that you or your family members may take. More information on what to include is listed below.
- Make sure that you and family members are aware of evacuation routes and the location of potential emergency shelters in case you feel that it is prudent to leave your home.
- Don’t forget about your car! Your car should be placed in a garage or away from potential flood waters. Well before the storm arrives, fill up the gas in your car in the event you need to evacuate. Remember, forewarned is forearmed – so keep your ears open for potential weather coming your way.
Generally, hurricanes that impact New England come from the south and you will have several days notice prior to landfall. Check weather.com or The Weather Channel on a regular basis to stay up-to-date regarding developing weather systems that may impact you.
An Emergency Supply Kit Should Include:
- At least a 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day)
- At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food (and can opener for food if kit contains canned food)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio if possible)
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- At least a 14-day supply of prescription medication and contact lenses
- Toiletries, moist wipes, hygiene items, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Emergency tools: wrench or pliers to turn off utilities and multi-purpose tool
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers
- Credit card and cash
- Copies of personal documents such as insurance policies, identification, bank records, passports, and birth certificates in a waterproof, portable container
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
- Extra set of car and house keys
- At least, one change of clothing and shoes per person
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
Find additional safety and preparedness material online at
Start by thinking about not having power for two weeks.
You cannot have too much gasoline stored. Fill your tanks, and gas cans. You can always use it in your car later if you don't need it. You might not have a generator, but your neighbor might. (There is a good trade, fuel for an extension cord over to your house.)
You cannot have too much fresh water stored. Toilets do not flush without water. A few days in, you will know you messed up if you don't have water. Use plastic sheet in the bathtub before you fill it - most tub drain plugs have slow leaks. That water will work great for cleaning yourself and flushing. Get/or store bottled water for drinking.
Don't worry about food. You will have so much food going bad in the refrigerator, you won't be able to eat it all. If you have gas stove, it will work. Otherwise you will want a grill or BBQ pit to cook/heat things. Also, try not to open the freezer/fridge, stuff stays cold longer than you think when you don't open it. (Some also suggest you tape up the ice door/dispenser with plastic -lots of heat goes in through there. So buy charcoal or use good wood like hickory/oak - if you don't need it you can use it later.
Ice is a critical item. Make blocks in your freezer using milk jugs or soda bottles. It takes two days to make a milk jug ice block completely solid. Always leave a couple of inches of air so it doesn't create a problem when it expands due to the freezing process. You can also just use your ice maker and ziplocks to store ice. Remember, at some point, what you put in there will melt - so avoid messes.
Obviously, get Medicine/Prescriptions. Also, you may want beer/wine. It will be gone from the stores. If the stores open after the storm they will only take cash. My opinion, beer is important. You will have no tv or computer (or even work) for up to 2 weeks. You might just need a drink. Plus you may find yourself doing alot of BBQ with all the meat that is melting or going bad - just one more reason for a beer.
Please bring in everything in your yard. Otherwise, your chair might end up in your neighbors window. (He's not going to run you that extension cord if that happens).
If you can park inside your garage, back the car to the garage door carefully. Put a towel/blanket between your car and the door so you don't scratch the bumper. The garage door is the weakest part of your house. If it blows in, winds can stress the roof -and some roofs have been lifted off houses this way.
Flashlights and batteries run out at the stores. If you already have Ryobi or Dewalt type cordless power tools, you can buy a flashlight attachments for them. Candles can cause fires, and if there is no water, that's a problem. Please be vigilant about candles. Put them on something that cannot possibly burn.
Big trees are the number one killer by wind. If you have to avoid part of your house near one - so be it. Wind very rarely kills anyone. It's usually the storm surge or flooding. But I spent half of Ike watching our big tree, ready to run to the other side of the house. You will see trees bend in unimaginable ways - and expect alot of limbs to clean up afterwards. The leaves turn to confetti.
TVtooner - also wants to remind you that there will likely be lots of mosquitos after the storm. Get repellants. You may be spending time outside your house after the storm due to it being too hot inside during the daytime. It runs out in the stores quick even if the store reopens after the storm.
TVtooner reminds you that the heat in your home is a problem. With no AC or fans, it can get really hot. You may not be able to sleep. (Luckily you guy don't have Texas heat.) On the plus side, fans use little power. Small table fans can use as little as 10 watts. Generators often get stolen. A small generator is enough to power several houses worth of fans and a few small/efficient lights in each. You can team up with neighbors to protect the generator and provide gasoline. Please be very careful with generator fumes