Making property and personal preparations is key to successfully surviving the impact of a hurricane.
Hurricane winds can reach a constant speed of 74 miles per hour or more, according to FEMA. As a hurricane nears land, it can bring torrential rains, high winds and storm surges. The hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30 with August and September being peak months.
The length of time available to prepare for a storm depends on the development and path of a weather system. By monitoring the tropical weather reports on a daily basis, it should be possible to track the development of a system coming off the coast of Africa and take precautions in accordance with its progress.
In the event of a hurricane watch or warning, prepare your home and vehicles.
- Take the necessary steps to guard windows, doors and any weak points in your home’s construction.
- Fuel up your vehicles.
- Pre-program your emergency contact list into your cell phone.
- Secure important documents (insurance policies, birth certificates, etc.) in a safe and readily accessible place.
- Be ready to turn off the gas, water, and electricity supply to your home.
- Identify the location of your nearest hurricane shelters.
- Ensure safe housing of your pets during the storm.
- Confirm the communication plan in case family members are not together and share this with a main family contact living abroad.
- Replenish your stock of non-perishable foods including pet food.
- Get 2 gallons of water per person per day for drinking and personal hygiene (calculate enough for 14 days). Water for your pets.
- Fill any prescription medicines you will need for the next 14 days.
- Keep your cell phone fully charged while you have access to electricity. Get a car charger for use should you lose mains or generator power.
Check your hurricane supply list.
Make sure that you have stocked up on the recommended items for your hurricane supply kit:
- First aid kit
- Batteries (AA, C, D, and 9V)
- Battery-powered radio
- Heavy duty, outdoor extension cords
- Hurricane lanterns
- Propane stove burner or outdoor propane grill (with or without burner rings).
- Matches / gas lighter (keep in water tight container)
- Insect repellent
- Manual can opener and bottle opener
- Masking / duct tape
- Utility knife
- Watertight, fire-safe container
- Waterproof tarpaulin (tarp) and drop cloths
- Soap or anti-bacterial hand wash
- Toilet paper and kitchen paper
- Wet wipes
- Pet supplies
- Ceiling or standard fans
- Hose pipes
- Trash bags
- Coolers (pre-fill with ice to help preserve perishables should you lose mains or generator power)
Hurricane clean up supplies
Don’t wait until after the storm to attempt to get what you need to clean up. The stores may be out of stock, shut or otherwise inaccessible depending on the severity of the storm.
- Brooms and mops
- Axes, hand saws and pruners
- Household chlorine bleach, cleaning supplies and rags
- Masking/duct tape
- Trash bags
- Shovels and rakes
- Chain saw
- Cordless drill and other cordless power tools
- Nails and screws
- Rope and/or bungee cords
- Screw driver
- Tarps and drop cloths
- Work boots or heavy shoes
- Life vests
All items in the hurricane supply and clean up list are available at Drakes Traders.