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Last Minute Severe Weather Preparation Tips

Water is the Number 1 Essential

After a major storm, the water system could be compromised due to flooding and power outages, making it unsafe to drink. You will want to store between a 10 and 14 day supply of water for you and your family, including any pets. That breaks down to at least 1 gallon per person for every three days. Be sure to account for any pets you have. Check out this awesome hurricane water storage calculator to figure how much water is needed for you and your family. In addition to storing water bottles, we also recommend you fill all the bathtubs in your home with water. Use this water for filling the tank of your toilet for flushing, not for drinking. To prevent drainage, line the tub with plastic. You may also store water in large buckets and containers for this purpose if you don’t have a bath tub in your home.

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Before the storm, set your freezer to the coldest setting and begin making as much ice as possible while you still have power. Any empty space in your freezer will cause it to warm at a faster rate once the power goes out, so fill any empty space with jugs of ice. Fill plastic containers, such as clean milk or water jugs with water, leaving about a ¼ inch of space and put them in the freezer. When the power goes out you can place the containers of ice in your fridge or ice chest to keep food cool for as long as possible. Avoid opening your fridge and freezer unless necessary. If you plan on evacuating, wrap all contents in your freezer in plastic garbage bags, that way if the power goes out while you’re gone, you’re not facing a thawed-out mess in your freezer. Trust us, that’s the last thing you’ll want to deal with when you return.

Bring the patio furniture inside…or the storm may do it for you.

Any loose items in your yard will be converted into projectile objects in severe wind. So, store your patio furniture, hanging plants, wind chimes, bird feeders, yard art, and toys in the house or garage.

Charge up

Start charging all your cordless devices before the storm hits including wireless phone chargers. These devices may be the only link you have to outside world for a while. A 12-volt DC battery charger for your car is a good option for charging larger devices such as laptops and tablets.

Entertainment

Prior to the storm, take advantage of your Wifi by downloading videos and games to keep you entertained if you’re without power for a while. Have board games, cards, and coloring and activities books on standby.

Gather emergency supplies

Pack the following items in a large container such a laundry basket or duffle bag: flashlights batteries, first aid kit, toilet paper, prescription drugs and over the counter pain relievers, mosquito repellant, and important documents (especially your homeowner’s insurance policy).

Board Up

If possible, board up windows with plywood to prevent breakage from debris, causing water damage inside the home.

Locate Utility Cutoffs

Have a plan for how to cut off your utilities in case of an emergency. Hurricanes can cause power surges and ruptured water or gas lines. Familiarize yourself with the location of your water and gas meters and as well as your breaker box.

Document

Take photos and videos of your home prior to the storm for insurance purposes, in case your property suffers extensive damage from the storm. Store them on a USB drive or email them to yourself as well as a trusted friend or family member out of the area, so that you can reference the original condition of your home and your valuables should you need to make an insurance claim.

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