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. If you need help understanding your policy or you’d like to take out a new one, contact BF&M who can connect you with a representative.
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.
• 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 2023 series, HERE!