With the height of hurricane season here, it’s important to know exactly what you need to do to prepare for an impending storm. To make your home a safe zone, follow these guidelines in the days leading up to the arrival of a hurricane.
3 Days Before:
• Check the household and barbecue gas tanks and, if necessary, refill them
• Check old flashlights and lanterns to make sure they work. Replace them or buy new batteries as needed.
• Buy: a kerosene lamp, with wicks and kerosene; batteries of various sizes; flashlights; lanterns; a tarpaulin; a transistor radio; duct tape; candles; disposable plates and utensils
• If you don’t have many at home, stock up on inexpensive towels, in case water makes its way into the house.
• If you have a landline, buy an analog phone – this is one that does not require electricity to work.
• Stock up on plywood and any other supplies needed for boarding up windows and doors.
• Make sure your first aid kit is complete, and update items as needed.
• Check all your insurance plans – house, car, boat etc. – to make sure they are up to date. Review valuables and significant items, such as your car and boat.
2 Days Before:
• Shop for non-perishable food items, such as canned fruits, vegetables, meats and fish; granola bars; jello and pudding; canned soup; dried fruit and nuts; and crackers;
• Buy water for drinking – a household supply of at least three days’ worth is recommended.
• If you have pets, stock up on food for them.
• If you have a generator, buy gas to fill it.
• Buy cards, board games and any other entertainment that you will need while there is no electricity.
• Fill all the prescriptions for the household, so that there is a supply for at least two weeks.
The Day Before:
• Board up all the windows and doors of your house, leaving only the most protected door unblocked for entry and exit.
• Take out enough cash to last for several days after the hurricane passes.
• Fill the car with gas.
• Move the boat to its storm mooring.
• Move the car away from any big trees or other objects that may fall or get blown over.
• Fill the bathtub, and as many large containers as possible, with water for bathing and cooking.
• Do the laundry.
• If you have pets, bring them inside well before the storm begins.
• Charge the batteries of all your electronic devices and power packs.
• Bring all potted plants to a safe place inside.
• Secure all the outdoor furniture to prevent its’ being moved by strong winds.
• Bring in or secure any other outdoor items that may be blown around in the storm, such as clotheslines, decorative items, swings, children’s items and barbecues.
• Set the fridge and freezer to the coldest settings possible, so that they will remain cold for longer after the power goes out.
• Block the drains on the roof to prevent salt water, leaves and other debris from getting into the tank.
• Unblock any outdoor patio and ground drains to prevent flooding wherever possible.
• Check on neighbours who are elderly or may otherwise need assistance.
• Download movies to watch after the power goes out, as well as our playlist for entertainment.
• Download weather apps, such as NOAA Weather Radar and Windy – wind and waves forecast, to track the storm’s progress.
• Make sure that all important documents are in a safe place, preferably in a watertight container.
• Emergency radio station: 100.1 FM
• BELCO power outage phone number: 955 (For use after the storm has passed.)
• BELCO Storm Centre online
For information regarding how to prepare for an impending storm, contact BF&M.
Read more from our Hurricane Season 2019 series, HERE!