As both a long time Floridian and Realtor, I am often asked by out of the area buyers about what to do in a hurricane if you don’t want to leave your home? What items should they have on hand, and how much?Where do I start? Here are the answers………
In general you have about a 4 day lead on the approaching storm, however store shelves will be empty if you wait that long. So the key is to be prepared well ahead of time. Here are a few tips, and how to prepare:
LIGHTING. The city now intentionally turns off the power just before the hurricane strikes. So having adequate flashlights and lanterns is my #1 pick
WATER. This is tip #2 and an important one for a few reasons. Even if the storm has passed, it could be days before FEMA brings in water and ice. Don’t throw out those plastic milk bottles…fill with water and freeze them. When the power is cut you can keep the fridge cold for many hours, by transferring them into the food compartment, or place into an cooler. Once they thaw out it can become drinking water and for personal hygiene.
MONEY. With power off, no ATM’s will be working. Keep cash for purchases when the stores open back up and don’t count on the cash registers working to pay for things. Keep 1$ bills especially, for rounding up or dawn a payment, don’t count on getting change back
FUEL. Never let your vehicle get below 1/2 tank during hurricane season. Period! If you are forced to evacuate, you may have to drive for hours, before fuel is available. Be sure to have fuel in your BBQ grill tank as well. If the power is off for days, it will be important to cook that food to prolong its goodness.
FOOD. Keep in mind that canned goods and packaged goods in general have no shelf life so keep plenty around. Don’t forget a manual can opener as well. Use your kitchen pans on the grill. Don’t forget FIDO’s food as well.
MEDS. Be sure to have at least 1 weeks supply of every medicine you take.
TOILET PAPER. Yup, keep plenty around.
PLASTIC TUB. If you sustain damage to your home and water enters, or there is a mandatory evacuation, you will want important papers in a water tight plastic tub. Items like wills, Trusts, Deeds, Titles, Identification, Pharmacy records, home owners insurance policy, etc.
RADIO. A battery weather radio is best, however any battery operated radio is better than none, to get news about the storm when power is off.
FIRST-AID KIT. For those cuts and scraps. A tool box will be handy as well.
If you do venture out, approach every intersection with non working signal lights, as if it had a stop sign…do not blow thru any intersections. Another tip when venturing out is to have a street map. The high winds will take off a street sign easily, so having a map will help. Know where your nearest shelter is located. Water and ice will be brought there to disburse, so know where to go. DO NOT drive over a downed power line, drive around it. If you leave, carry your gun on you, looting or car theft or robbery can be an issue. Stay together, don’t separate or split up for any reason. Visit the FEMA website for other great tips.