Hurricane Preparedness 2010

I am always amazed at science and how technology improves how we live and react to things around us. Meteorology is one of them. 100 years ago our ancestors knew a storm was coming when the weather began to turn. Today we know the forecast 10 days ahead of time. Hurricane Season is typically considered early June to late November, with a peak in the Atlantic between August and October.

Hurricane Earl is working its way towards the Eastern coastline. Here in NH it looks like we’ll just get the outer fringes of the storm. Despite really good science and technology, it is still a guess and the prediction of the storm’s path is just that, a prediction. Which is a fancier word than educated guess.

But what it does give us is time to adequately prepare for the storm. Advanced warnings mean that we can shop, stock up and avoid last minute craziness at the market or home improvement store. It is recommended that you have a 3 day store of supplies on hand when preparing for a hurricane. While we each had different definitions of ‘staples’, here is a quick list of items to have at home:
  • Food. Preferably non-perishable. Which means things that don’t necessarily need refrigeration in case you lose power. If you rely on electricity to cook then stock up on food that you don’t need to heat or prepare to eat. This can include ready-to-eat canned or packaged fruits, veggies & meat and granola bars or snacks. If you use infant formula make sure you have plenty on hand.
  • Water. You should have at least 1 gallon of water per person per day in your home. Half of this is for drinking, the other half is for cleaning food & washing.
  • First Aid kit. You never know when you’ll need a bandage or more.
  • Medication. If you or someone in your family needs daily or weekly medication make sure you pack that. Emergency medications such as an Asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen should be easy to locate if needed.
  • Paper products. Disposable plates, silverware, cups to eat with – if you don’t have running water (If you have a well and lose power your lose your water) you can’t wash dishes.
  • Emergency supplies. Flashlight, battery operated radio, extra batteries, hand-operated can opener, utility knife, tape, plastic sheeting, small tool kit, fire extinguisher, toilet paper, personal hygiene items, trash bags.
  • Clothes & bedding. Rain clothes, dry clothes, sleeping bags.
  • Documents. Put important documents like insurance policies and medical cards in a sealable plastic bag so they won’t be damaged if they get wet.
  • Supplies for infants and young children. Formula, diapers and things to keep young children entertained.
  • Supplies for pets. Pet food, leash, travel crate. Call around… does your city or town have a shelter that accepts pets?
If you need to evacuate to an emergency shelter what would you want to bring with you? Take 10 minutes, make a list and pack it so you’re ready to go if you need to.

If the authorities or safety department in your community recommends evacuation please do so. An evacuation recommendation is made for your safety.

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some quick guidelines. Many of these items you may already have in your home. Take a minute to do a quick inventory to see how many you can locate, plan to do so before Earl arrives so that you’re not unprepared.

For more information you can visit the National Hurricane Survival Initiative.

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