Updating throughout the storm -Last update: 9.9.17 8am CST
With Hurricane season knocking at our door, there is no better time to plan! Of course, if a category 3 or higher hurricane is approaching your area, we always advise that you evacuate immediately so that you are out of harm's way. However, if you choose to stay and weather the storm — pun intended — then we have 11 tips to help prepare you for what's to come.
1. Have a Plan
Stay informed and have a plan. If you know the hurricane is coming your way, don't wait until the last minute to prepare. Know which direction the storm is heading and where you are evacuating. Save yourself some stress and get ready in advance.
2. Prepare Plenty of Water
If your power or water goes out you will need to have plenty of water for drinking and bathing. A few things you can do is to sanitize and fill your bathtub up with regular tap water, or freeze it in a Tupperware type container. Don't forget to leave a little extra space for the container to expand when frozen.
3. Gas Up
Fill up all of your cars today! Buy a few 5-gallon gas tanks to fill up and keep on hand to fuel your car and generators.
4. Get Cash
Go to your bank or local ATM today to get plenty of cash. If the power goes out none of your credit cards or debit cards will work. If you're evacuating, notify your bank so that your card isn't frozen or put on hold for suspicious activity.
5. Save Important Documents
Take pictures, scan and email yourself photos of all important documents that you may need like birth certificates, social security cards, passports, deeds or titles. Seal the documents in a plastic bags or in locked containers to take with you. It may also be a great idea to take pictures of your entire house, inside and out, for insurance purposes.
6. Stock Up on Food
Again, you may be out of power for days or even weeks, so plan accordingly! Stock up on non perishable food items to feed yourself, your family and your pets. Discard any perishable food items in your fridge to avoid food spoiling. If you are planning to evacuate, freeze a cup of water, then place a quarter on top of it, this will help indicate if your food has spoiled.
7. Prepare for the Wind
Secure all patio furniture, grills and umbrellas and store safely inside. You also need to decide if you are going to board up your windows and doors. You may get by if you have high impact windows, however, if you choose to board up, make sure everything is shut, locked and boards are tightly secured.
8. Charge Devices
Before the storm sets in make sure to charge up all cell phones. Invest in a solar power charger and battery pack charger for your cellular device so you can communicate with friends, family and emergency personnel if necessary. Also, stock up on plenty of batteries, flash lights and battery or solar powered lanterns.
9. Prepare for Flooding
Keep old rags and beach towels to line your windowsills and doors. Even the best hurricane windows can leak. It's better to have wet towels than damp drywall and flooring.
Be sure to unplug all electronic devices throughout your home before the storm hits. Turning off the gas and shutting off water before the hurricane is a good idea as well to prevent any leaks that the hurricane may cause.
11. Get the Essentials
Lastly and most importantly, make sure you have plenty of Rum and Hurricane mix to complete your disaster preparedness plan
If you have a vacation home in the area and aren't able to lock down the property yourself, make sure you contact someone who can make those preparations for you.