It’s hurricane season are you prepared? My motto is to get prepared and stay prepared, if possible. Before a hurricane comes, I whip out my Hurricane Preparedness Checklist and gather all the supplies on the list.
This year (2020) is exceptionally worrisome since they are forecasting an extra active hurricane season. Literally, the season just started and we already had 3 named storms. I hope that most of the storms that develop this year don’t hit land. However, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared just in case right?
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
This hurricane preparedness checklist will go over just about everything you need to get prepared for a big storm. This year we are looking at having an abnormally active hurricane season. We all need to make sure that we are prepared for level 7 of Jumanji!
1. Grab Important Supplies Before They Run Out
Get over to the gas station as soon as you can. With all of the shortages with toilet paper and everything else, you’ll want to make sure to fill up not only your vehicle’s gas tank but your gas cans too.
Exchange your propane tanks. I don’t know about you but after a hurricane, I use my gas grill to make coffee and to cook! We have a grill with a burner on the side and it’s so nice to be able to cook almost normal meals!
Go to the store and buy essentials. Water runs out quick usually. Most people grab bread and milk too.
Go to the bank and pull out some cash. In an emergency when the power is out, you might need cash.
2. To Evacuate Or Not? | Make A Plan
You may think early on that you won’t need to evacuate, however, these storms can be unpredictable sometimes, like hurricane Andrew. Which went across Florida and then turned around and hit them again. No one saw it coming.
Don’t get caught at the last minute trying to pack. If a storm is coming anywhere near you, you should be packed and ready to go. Don’t risk life and limb being stubborn.
There are public shelters if you don’t have anywhere to go. You can find shelters near you on the Red Cross Website. Instead of staying in a shelter maybe you can stay with family who live out of state.
Create an Evacuation Plan
Where ever you decide to flee to, you’ll need a plan. Firstly, you’ll need to designate a family or friend as an emergency contact. Make sure to tell them where you are planning to stay during the hurricane. You can check in with them as needed and they can update the rest of your family.
Second, you’ll need to plan a route, and then…plan a second one. An alternative route is important since you in large evacuations traffic can get pretty heavy. Third, you’ll need to pack. I’ve got a great list of stuff to pack in my free printable. I’ll be linking to that later in this post. Then, it’s a good idea to unplug electronics like TVs and microwaves. They say you should keep the fridge and freezer plugged in unless you expect flooding.
You should also elevate any important items, and if you have time you can elevate your furniture, in case of flooding. Before you leave the house, cut off the electricity, gas, and water.
This year is a little different, so if you plan on going to a public shelter be sure to pack masks for everyone. You’ll want to have plenty of hand sanitizers, and other cleaning products too.
4. Gather Necessities | If You Plan To Shelter In Place
Making the decision to stay is an important one. So make sure you think about it. If things are worse than you thought, you’ll want to find a safe room in your home and hunker down. If you plan to stay, make sure to gather supplies
- Candles, with a pan to sit them in so you don’t start a fire if they tip over. Or you could opt into getting an LED lantern or flashlight. You will need to make sure you have plenty of batteries, or if your flashlight takes a lithium battery, make sure they are charged!!
- Weather radio
- Food – non-perishables
- Snacks – Don’t eat them all in one sitting you might be mad at yourself later!
- Cell phone
- Bug out bag
- First aid kit
- Pet Food if you have animals inside
- Fire extinguisher
- Duct tape – because you never know!
- Garbage bags
- Map, a good old fashioned paper map!
- Spoon/Fork to eat with
5. Pack For Evacuation
Everyone will need clothes, toiletries, etc… Here’s the full Hurricane Preparedness Checklist that you can download at the end of this post.
- Cell Phone, wall, and car charger – This is very important obviously! You want to be able to contact family after the storm passes to tell them you are ok.
- Also, it is a good idea to have a power bank charger that will charge your phone. You will want to make sure all of your items are charged before the storm.
- A weather radio is nice to help you keep track of the storm.
- Toiletries – Such as toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion
- Pillow, blankets, and if you like you can pack sleeping bags.
- Candles, battery-powered lanterns, and flashlights.
- Cash – It’s always a good idea to have cash in an emergency situation.
- Bug Out Bag
- Important papers such as birth certificates, social security cards, home, and car insurance, etc…
- First Aid Kit
- Emergency Car Kit
- Bottle water
- Bottle juice
- Can opener
- Canned food
- Family pictures
- Charge cords
- Change of clothes
- Pet Food
- Pet crate
- Pet medication, if applicable
- People medication, if applicable
- Fire Extinguisher
- Duct tape
- Garbage bags
- Paper map
- Baby Items, if applicable
- Entertainment items such as board games, cards, and books.
- Masks – This year we’ll be adding this in addition to the regular supplies with everything going on, if there is an evacuation, we may see an increase in the spread of this 2020 bug that’s going around.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Medicine if applicable
- Diaper rash ointment
- Baby wipes
- Pacifier if applicable
- Toy or blanket
Items For Entertainment – Grab What You Like Or Have On Hand…
6. Hurricane Preparedness Checklist | Bug Out Bag Lists
If you don’t already have one, now is the time to build a bug out bag. I have several, for each family member. I also wrote several posts on making bug out bags. Including one that has links to Amazon to make it easier to build a great bag, it is called the Amazon Bug out Bag List.
My Dollar Tree Bug Out Bag is great for people who need more frugal options. You won’t have the best quality items, money can buy but they may be helpful for a few days. Which in certain emergencies that’s all you really need.
When a storm is near you want to make sure that you have your basic necessities are covered. Building a bug out bag will help you do that!
If you think the building where you keep your animals is strong enough to endure the storm, then they may be able to stay.
When it comes to pets, you want to make sure that you are prepared to take them with you in the event of a hurricane. I understand leaving behind livestock, it’s difficult to prepare for all that.
When it comes to making preps for pets, I have a whole post on that! Check it out and make sure you are prepared on their behalf. It’s your responsibility!
We keep our chickens and ducks locked up, but we have pretty hardy chicken coops. The hardiest of them all is the Horse Trailer Chicken Coop.
Many people use their garage to house their chickens and other small animals during a really bad storm.
Fortify Animal Buildings By:
- Boarding the windows.
- Fortify doors
- Cover any openings
Make sure you provide them with plenty of food and water, before the storm hits. You should not go outside during a storm!
Cows, Goats, Pigs And Other Animals
Many people set their animals free before a storm, since some buildings may just collapse in a storm. Animals have instincts on what to do during storms, and they may be better off fending for themselves.
If you have pigs, cows, or horses, you can write your number on their fur with either spray paint or with a permanent marker.
I have heard this works pretty well most of the time. I am sure there are some circumstances where they may be lost for good.
8. Food & Water | Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
As Homesteaders we may have the upper hand because we spend a lot of our time, preserving food. You may have canned food that you canned yourself, or maybe you have some ferments that you’ll be able to eat.
If you don’t have many home-canned items you may want to purchase some canned foods. Just to make sure that you have enough non-perishables to get your family through the next couple of days.
When the power goes out it might be out for 1 day or 3+ weeks. There is no telling how much damage will have to be repaired ahead of time.
So, don’t stock up on a bunch of fresh foods. Think perishables. Before the storm hits and the power is turned off, it is a good idea to try and eat up whatever you can.
Also, go ahead and freeze some bottles. When the storm knocks out the power get them out and place them in the refrigerator. This will help things keep cold in there.
You will want to keep the door closed as much as possible to prevent spoilage. Use your best opinion on whether or not to eat any of the items after that power goes out.
If the food gets too hot it might have spoiled. Please be careful and don’t get yourself sick!
Non-Perishable Food Items Idea List
- Mountain House Foods
- Canned food such as vegetables, meats, fruits, and soup
- Canned milk, and cheese
- Granola bars
- Peanut butter, and bread
- Fruits and vegetables that do not need refrigeration
- Rice and beans
For water, check out my blog post on backup water supply.
9. Outside Your Home | What To Do Before The Storm Hits!
Put away anything that could be picked up by the wind. You don’t want stuff to fly around and into your home! Ladders, patio furniture, potted plants, all need to be stored in a safe place. This may be a shed or garage.
Close shutters before the storm hits. You don’t want to be outside during a hurricane passing over trying to close them!
Fortify your doors and windows! This may or may not be necessary. I think a category 4 is capable of busting open doors and windows. Learn more about how to fortify windows and doors at Florida Disaster.
10. Inside Your Home
If you decide not to evacuate, find the safest place in your home. A place without windows, doors, or openings of any kind. Also, it is best to find a room with little to no outside walls. This may be a closet or a bathroom.
If you are facing a major storm here soon, I hope that you farewell through them!
Send me a message (use the contact page), if you want me to keep you in my prayers. I would be happy to. Please don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for a storm! Get it done.
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