Make sure you have included your pets and their needs (food, medicine, leashes, crates, etc) in your evacuation plans. Gather important documents (your marriage certificate, mortgage, title, insurance papers, passports, etc) and secure them in a weatherproof case. Gather the information you need to shut off utilities to your home if you must evacuate for more than a few days. Make sure to inform a family member or friend of your evacuation plans in case you need to evacuate at some point. Secure your windows and doors with hurricane fabric (see video above), shutters or plywood. Fill up your bathtub with water and stock up on bottled water in case your water supply is cut off. NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation.
If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 70116). Remember that hurricanes are unpredictable – the best plan is to be prepared and ALWAYS evacuate if your local officials give the order. Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Listed below are some Tips on how to prepare your home, roof, siding and family in the event that a storm like a Hurricane should hit the Durham, Raleigh or your area. According to the National Hurricane Center, the two keys to weather safety are to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.
An emergency supplies kit is simply a collection of items your family may need in an emergency. Having basic first aid supplies on hand better prepares you to help an injured family member or friend.
Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers.
Be sure you have adequate insurance and copies of insurance documents in a safe, waterproof container. Gather important paperwork, including copies of insurance policies, medical records, prescriptions, etc.
If severe storms threaten, protect your property by covering windows with storm shutters, siding or plywood. Bring bulky or heavy objects such as lawn furniture, grills, garbage cans, tools, potted plants, etc. Move valuable papers, jewelry and other contents to upper floors or higher elevations to keep them from flood water. If you're caught in the house by suddenly rising waters, move to the second floor and, if necessary, to the roof. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim and arrange a visit from an adjuster.
Protect your home from further damage by making temporary repairs only, until your insurance company can advise you further. Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.
Unless you have extra coverage with your homeowners policy, food lost in a power outage is probably not covered. Most damage to your home or surrounding structures resulting from fallen trees is covered by your homeowners policy.
Damage to your vehicles resulting from fallen trees or debris may be covered by your auto policy if you have comprehensive coverage. After filing with FEMA, and your loss is still greater, you may file with the Small Business Administration for a loan. Keep in mind that none of these measures will ever restore your home to its original condition. Having a hurricane preparedness checklist will provide reassurance that you will have thought of all the essentials (provided that they are on the list) and will greatly reduce the likelihood that you will forget something during the stressful time immediately before a potential hurricane disaster. Battery-operated radio: Make sure you have extra batteries too, so that you can keep up with news reports and alerts. Secure a two-week supply of prescription medicine: Anyone on prescription medications, should pack a two-week supply of their meds in a sealable plastic bag, clearly labeled.
Flashlight and lanterns: Make sure you have a couple of flashlights, candles, matches, lanterns and other alternate sources of light. Personal hygiene items: It might be hard to get to the store to buy toilet paper, tissues, soap and other sanitary items after the storm. Prepare early: Emergency items sell out quickly at the stores, so stock up your kit before hurricane season even starts. First aid instructions: Print out instructions for the Heimlich, CPR and other basic aid in case you panic in an emergency. Mosquito repellant: If it floods — or even rains a lot — your area could have a serious and potentially dangerous mosquito problem.
Adhesive tape: You can use this to fasten bandages, hold large lacerations together and even splint broken bones. Gauze, bandages and band-aids: Even little cuts and scrapes need to be dressed, so have a range of bandages on hand. Hand sanitizer: Nothing compares to soap and water, but in a fix, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will help.
Plywood: Nailing plywood over windows is still the best option for protecting the inside of your house. Turn off utilities if you leave: Before evacuating, shut off power, propane gas and water, but leave on natural gas unless told to do so by authorities.
Buy impact resistant glass: Well before you hear about any storms, replace older windows with higher resistance ones. Lock windows and doors: Lock up your windows and doors for personal safety and to keep the wind from blowing them open. Prune trees and shrubs: Loose limbs and plants will fly around easily when the winds pick up.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Make sure these will work even if the power is out. Buy tarps and rope: Already have these items on hand so that you can start repairs as quickly as possible to prevent more damage. Food and water should last for 72 hours: Make sure you have enough supplies to last everyone in the house for at least 72 hours. Be aware of boil water alerts: After a storm, you may have to boil water for a few days at least due to flooded wells, spilled sewage and other contamination. Prepare your refrigerator ahead of time: Stock your freezer with dry ice to keep food frozen longer if the power goes out.
Get out your ice chest: Fill an ice chest with ice or dry ice before and after the storm to keep food cold.
Canned foods: Canned meat, fish, fruits, soups, milk and vegetables are all smart, easy-to-prepare options. Consider a generator: These will make your life much easier during a storm, but understand the carbon monoxide risks. Keep numbers of energy companies handy: Write down or store in your phone the numbers of energy providers so that you can notify them of an outage. Use grills and gas cook stoves outside: Gas grills and generators carry a carbon monoxide risk.
Know how to connect a generator: Be sure that you or someone understands how to do this, and the dangers and precautions that must be met if connecting to the homes electrical system.

Board games or cards: Get out board games or play cards to keep you distracted during the storm and to play if the power goes out. Play with your pets: Give your pets extra attention, especially if they seem stressed or scared. Minimize stress: Help children cope better by minimizing stressful situations and discussions. Pre-register for special needs shelters: If you think you will have to evacuate and are bringing a special needs or disabled person with you, pre-register to ensure space and adequate care.
Maintain normal routines: Keeping up with a normal routine helps soothe everyone from babies to adults, provided that you are already prepared. Contact home health care service: If you use a home health care service, call them and ask them to check on you during and after the storm. Know the risks: Disabled individuals will find it harder to evacuate, so know all the obstacles and risks involved in transporting them or keeping them safe in your home. Get a real map: You may not be able to rely on your GPS, especially if roads are blocked or flooded. Plan meeting places: Pick two or three meeting places — one inside your home, one inside your neighborhood, and one outside your neighborhood for whenever the storm hits or where you plan to evacuate.
Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes: There should be standard routes, but listen to the news to learn about any new or updated routes. Plan to stay with friends: Hotels will book up quickly, so plan to stay with friends or family who live inland at least for the first couple of nights. Find out if you live in an evacuation zone: You may not even have to worry about evacuating.
Carefully inspect your home upon return: Before letting children back, watch for danger, hanging electrical wires and loose debris. Use a USB drive: Download important data onto a flash drive and put it in a waterproof, sealable bag or container. Check home insurance: Do this before hurricane season starts, otherwise updated coverage may not take effect until the following year.
Take video and photos: Take them of your car, home and property before and after the storm for insurance purposes. Know the terminology: Know the difference between tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes so that you can follow the reports better. Head to a windowless room: Even if your windows are boarded up, stay in a windowless room while the winds are blowing.
Stay inside: Stay indoors for the entire duration of the storm, and do not go outside during the calm of the storm, when the eye passes over.
Be careful with candles: Only light them if you have to, and set a reminder to blow them out before leaving the room or going to bed. Survival blog topics for a life of preparedness and risk awareness; emergency and disaster or threats thereof. Long before there is any threat of a storm, the first step your family should take is to develop a plan or course of action should you be forced to evacuate or generally prepare for a hurricane. The National Hurricane Center recommends you have on hand the contact information for a variety of government agencies and local resources.
This is also the best time to make sure you know how to work your hurricane shutters and backup power generator and to make sure you have all the accessories you need in your emergency supplies. Prepare for evacuation by determining if there are hotels that would stay open during a storm or if you have family you can visit during a storm. Now is the time to inventory any antiques, art, or expensive items for your home insurance policy, if you haven’t already done so.
You see it every year on television and in your local grocery store – carts piled high with bottles of water and empty shelves.
Even a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane can cause your home and neighborhood to lose power. You don’t have to become a survivalist or expert in hurricane preparedness, but we recommend purchasing a variety of non-perishable and easy-to-prepare food items as a key component of your emergency supplies. Make sure you have the most recent copy of your insurance policy and copies of any important documents you need. Cloud computing isn’t just for businesses – you can back up your personal photos, documents, and videos into the Cloud and retrieve them from wherever you are headed. Hopefully, you won’t receive any unwanted storms this hurricane season, but it never hurts to get your family ready in advance by following these helpful hurricane preparedness tips. The Federal Emergency Management has prepared a set of hurricane preparedness checklists that will help you get ready for, weather, and recover from a hurricane. Identification is difficult and time-consuming to replace, so get important papers (social security cards, birth certificates, high school diplomas or GED certificates, titles or deeds to property, as well as your homeowners insurance policy) and special photos in order and secured in plastic. Plan to stay with relatives for the duration of the emergency (and it may be some time, depending on the damage).
One thing that you should plan to do IMMEDIATELY is to keep a bag of clothes for each person in the household in a designated spot, like a hall closet or in the garage, and make sure to have sleeping gear if you are going to be in a temporary shelter. Remember, there will be no ATMs until there is power, so have a check book and as much cash as possible in your Hurricane Kit. If you are going to “tough out” the storm in your home then be sure to keep as much of your house as possible between you and the wind.
To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant. Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage. Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground. Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
If you have become separated from your family, use your family communications plan or contact FEMA or the American Red Cross. FEMA has established the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS), which has been developed to help reunite families who are separated during a disaster. Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company. Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwater’s remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
As readers in coastal areas prepare for the 2015 hurricane season, this timely section offers tips for being prepared and staying safe. The media is available in InDesign pages, ready-to-print PDFs, text and photos so you can re-arrange it for your market. At Make It Right, we use hurricane fabric, a sustainable, safe and affordable alternative to plywood. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off. You likely have most of the items around the house, so it’s just a matter of gathering them together. Learn the potential hazards for your area and know what steps to take to protect your property. Keep sandbags away from the outside walls of your house to prevent floodwaters from reaching your house.

In case of flooding, do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area or you are standing on a dry piece of wood while wearing rubber-soled shoes or boots and rubber gloves.
Your local building inspection department has copies of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps that identify property subject to a 100-year storm frequency.
If your home is uninhabitable, most homeowners policies pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Check with your agent or company before calling the tree removal service as removal costs may also be covered. The only way to protect your property from flood losses is to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. No list is a perfect list, but perhaps this list will help get you going in the right direction. These will give you more variety but will still last a few days if you don’t have power. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2013 is predicted to be an active year for hurricanes, with anywhere from 13 – 20 named storms.
Make sure you write down the phone numbers for your local utilities, preferred repair companies, insurance company, Red Cross, and other emergency agencies. Check your fuel and familiarize yourself with your generator at the start of each hurricane season, and you won’t have to worry about learning to operate it when the power goes out.
Make sure the destinations you are considering are still open, and check with family members to see if they can still take your family in during a storm. Take clear photographs of jewelry or fine art and file them along with appraisals if you have them. Having a backup source of light will help you in a variety of ways, from finding and starting the generator to entertaining the kids. Storing a few days’ worth of food and snacks that the family likes will help you be ready and all times and keep you from the last minute grocery store rush if a storm does head your way.
While having a backup is always a good idea, it is essential to backup important items at the start of hurricane season.
In order to make filing an insurance claim, if needed, easier, take video or photos of your property before you leave to help with any claims for damage that may need to be filed. Or book a room in a hotel or motel in another nearby town or state and make sure to print out directions and keep them in the car, otherwise you’ll be sure to forget that piece of paper in the rush. Arts and crafts, crayons, coloring books, board games, and a deck of cards will be useful while the TV and video games won’t work.
It will be almost impossible to find plywood to board up your windows, so buy the plywood NOW, when you don’t need it yet, then it will be already at home when you need it. However tempting it may be to videotape or take photos of the storm, be sure to shoot from indoors – where it’s safe, and dry! This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecast. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
The NEFRLS system will enable displaced individuals the ability to enter personal information into a website database so that they can be located by others during a disaster.
Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
If you have any doubts about safety, have your home inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having a first aid kit can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination. For example, if you are in a coastal area that is prone to hurricanes and northeasters, you may want to consider keeping storm shutters or a stock of plywood around to board up windows when storms threaten. Before renting temporary shelter, check with your insurance company or agent to determine what expenses will be reimbursed. An active hurricane season puts homes at risk not only along the coast, but in the interior towns and counties as well. Put this information in a binder or notebook and keep it with your emergency supplies for fast reference. You should also be prepared to board your pets, or make arrangements to take them with you in advance. A simple walkthrough of your home captured on video at the start of the hurricane season will capture most of your important items, and record the pre-storm state of your home.
You can simply add any leftover or unused bottles to your pantry when the season comes to an end. High-powered light sticks will last for more than one season and provide plenty of light for 12 hours each, while flashlights and LED lanterns are handy for room and reading lights. A can opener and pans that will work on the grill are must-haves for your food stash as well. When a storm is forecast for your area, you’ll already have everything you need stored and ready for access, whether you evacuate or ride out the storm at home. Newton never acquired the charming accent that most life-long Texans possess in spades, but he’s OK with that. Hurricane preparedness needs to happen well before the onset of a storm, there are many things that you should plan to take care of prior to the announcement that a storm is coming. If you are too late to get board then the next best thing is to criss-cross your windows with layers of duct or packing tape.
If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present. Hurricane damage can occur miles inland and can be devastating for both homeowners and businesses. You won’t have to struggle to decide what to do or where to go when a storm has you in its sights. You may never need this documentation, but it will be very important if you need to file an insurance claim after a storm.
Double-check the batteries you keep in your emergency supplies and swap out any that are expired or near expiration for new ones at the start of each hurricane season. You may need to evacuate your home, and having this documentation as part of your emergency supplies makes it easier to bring your pet along for the ride.
In Florida, you can try this link, it may not cover your area, but it is a good starting point. This will be enough to protect you from light-to-medium winds, but plywood is your safest bet. Store these and other important insurance papers in waterproof containers or in your safety deposit boxes. Before his career in content marketing, Adam spent several years toiling as a music journalist. You will almost certainly have to make arrangements for your pets to stay safe and out of the way of the storm.

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