Blizzard. Hurricane. Wildfires. Whatever Mother Nature is throwing at you, get prepared for the worst and hope for the best. These starter tips can keep you and your family prepared.
Do It Now!
Download these free apps from the Red Cross and be prepared for emergencies:
- First aid – Get instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies.
- Emergency – Monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts.
- Earthquake – Receive notification when an earthquake occurs, find help and let others know you’re safe even if the power is out.
- Flood – Learn and prepare your family and friends for flooding, evacuation and a safe return home.
- Hurricane – Monitor hurricane conditions in your local area, throughout the storm track, and let others know you are safe even if the power is out.
- Tornado – Receive weather alerts whenever the NOAA issues a tornado watch or warning for your community – or any location where you have loved ones.
Check Your Supplies.
- Severe weather can have long-term consequences, not the least of which are delays in getting food and water to affected areas.
- Stock up on:
- Shelf-stable foods (peanut butter, canned goods, bottled water, bread, etc.)
- Keep in mind that if the power goes out, you won’t be able to heat up your meals.
- Stock up on paper products:
- Tissues, toilet paper, plates, napkins, and other items.
- Store paper products in your deep freeze if there is space. A full freezer takes less energy to run and will stay cold longer.
- Taking prescription medicine?
- If it’s within the refill time period, get it refilled now.
- Have kids?
- Keep your emergency entertainment kit handy for those homebound days and nights.
- Have pets?
- Make sure your pet emergency kit is fully stocked.
- If there’s a chance your water supply could be disrupted, fill your bathtub, buckets and other containers for non-drinking water. Use it to wash hands and flush toilets, for example.
- Don’t forget batteries for flashlights, a weather radio and any other items that need them.
- Review the items in your grab-and-go kit.
- If told to evacuate, you’ll want to be able to grab what you need and take off.
- Pack the essentials now, perhaps even storing them in your vehicle, so you can leave at a moment’s notice.
- Read our Home Disaster Preparedness Kit for more advice.
WHN TIP – Take Pictures Now. We know: you were planning on doing your home inventory, but you never got around to it. Right now, use your cell phone and either take pictures or a video room by room, doing close-ups of anything that is valuable. If you have extra time, then complete a room-by-room inventory record.
Check Your Fuel.
- Keep gas tanks filled, just in case you need to evacuate.
- While you’re at it, check your car’s emergency kit and add what’s missing.
- The same goes for fuel for items like
- a chain saw (for cutting downed limbs),
- a snow blower (for the white stuff)
- and a gas generator (to keep the essentials running in your home). Read our 4 Tips for Using Home Generators for safety tips.
- Have a wood-burning fireplace or stove?
- Bring enough wood closer to the house to make it easy to access, but keep it covered to protect it from rain or snow.
- Charge all cell phones and the external power banks, and keep cables right by the phone — so you can grab-and-go.
- And don’t forget your cash / money. In a disaster, ATMs may not be functioning so get cash, just in case.
- Know your primary evacuation route and a secondary way out in case the first is not accessible.
WHN TIP – Evacuate! Need to go? Ready.gov has tips on its Evacuation page. Map safe road routes inland to higher ground. You may need to drive 20 to 50+ miles inland to locate a safe place.
Photo Credit: Roger Brown Photography