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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hurricane Preparation Steps- Long (but in a different size font)

(I am posting this again in a different size and font.)

Here is a comprehensive list for those who are in a hurricane’s path.  

This list may have some items that you may consider over-the-top, please don’t get discouraged.  Just do what you can do.  The list was originally written for those directly in the landfall of a Category 5.  We here in Raleigh will not be in such drastic danger.

If you live farther away from the ocean, preparations for a storm surge are not necessary.  Be aware, however, that your home could be in a flash flood area.

It is important to do the early preparations to prevent getting caught up in the panicked crowds in the days immediately preceding the storm.  
7 Days Out 
1) Water (1 or 5 gallon jugs) is purchased and any filter systems, storage systems and well pumps are checked. 

2) Storage food is checked and additional food is purchased if necessary. During this phase any non-perishable food needed, including comfort food should be purchased. Make sure you have enough baby formula, baby food,  or food for people with special needs.

3) Fuel Stores such as gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, Coleman White fuel, kerosene are checked and topped off as needed. 

4) Cooking fuels are checked and purchased as needed. 

5) Battery stores are checked and additional batteries are purchased as needed. 

6) Flashlights, lanterns and other alternative light sources are tested and batteries are replaced, fuel is added to each device as needed. 

7) Alternative cooking devices are tested. Never, Never use your barbecue grill inside your home!

8) Radio communications are tested and made ready. 

9) Storm shutters and fasteners are made ready for deployment. 

10) Take off your window screens and store them in the house or garage.  You will need to put them on again after the hurricane when the power is out and you are roasting inside your non-airconditioned house.

11) Generators - tanks are topped off and any maintenance need is completed. 

12) First aid supplies - are checked and additional supplies are purchased as needed. 

13) Double check prescriptions and fill if necessary. 

14) Make plans to sleep on the lowest level of your house during the worst part of the storm.  Do not sleep in upper floors.  The danger of a tree falling on you is too great.  Determine which interior rooms, bathrooms, closets, would be a safe place to ride out the storm.  If the storm warrants evacuation, do not attempt to stay in your house.  Make plans to evacuate.

15) Daily used household items such as cleaners, soaps, tooth care; toilet paper etc. should be checked and purchased as necessary. 

16) Start making Ice: If you have an automatic ice maker, keep emptying it and storing the ice cubes in bags so it will make more.

17) Evacuation kits are checked and replenished as needed. 

18 Fuel tanks for vehicles from this point on are not allowed to go below ¾ filled and as a normal procedure should not be allowed to go under ½ full. 

19) Check vehicles for tire pressure, fluid levels, belt tensions, and any pending maintenance critical to the operation of the vehicle should be done at this time. 

20)Communicate with your ward, family and friends; discuss your preparedness plan.  Email your friends and family with your tentative plans.  If you have to evacuate, Where are you planning to go? Where will they be?  What resources can you share, loan, or borrow?  If winds will be 75 mph or above, can you stay in someone’s basement?

21)Get cash in small bills.  If the power goes out, you won’t be able to use credit cards or ATM’s.

22)Check with elderly and disabled neighbors and friends and make sure they have a plan.

23)Print off all your important phone numbers and address lists.  If your computer or cell phones are inoperable, you won’t be able to get the numbers off of them.

4-to-5-Days Out 
1) Grocery store – last minute items and perishable items such as fruits and vegetables that do not need refrigeration are purchased. The event may be short term and this will allow for one to two weeks of fresh fruits and vegetables before the need to move to dry and canned food. 

2) Mail all bills due in the next 30 days if possible. Pay your bills online ahead of time.

3) Start freezing water in 2 liter soda bottles (fill them only 3/4 full as the water expands when freezing.) This will help freezers and refrigerators stay cool longer when the power goes out. 

4) Have family or group meeting and discuss preparedness plans to include responsibilities for final preparations and survival responsibilities immediately after the event and contingency plans for when things go wrong. 

5) Start consuming primarily refrigerated perishable food. 

6) Assuming the garbage trucks are still running; make sure all trash is removed. 

7)Any member of your family or group who has to work will need to place a survival pack in their vehicle, that should include 3 to 7 days of food and water and one or two Jerry can(s) of fuel if possible. If possible, preposition short term emergency supplies at the place of employment. 

Experience has demonstrated that crowds of panicked people are beginning to start at this phase, but depending on the event and how the event is covered in the media, the crowds could potentially start earlier than expected; making some of the preparations at this stage more difficult to accomplish. 
48 Hours Out 
1) Impact shutters are installed on windows. 

2) Remove everything from your yard that may blow away. A category 3 hurricane can lift heavy tables, flower pots, swing sets, out door lighting, just about everything, be aggressive and remove anything that may become air-born and fly through a window. Outdoor solar lightning is a great light source during a power outage. Gather them into one place and leave them in the sun to charge as long as possible, just don’t forget to  bring them in before the blowing begins.

3) Rain gutters and downspouts are cleaned out. 

4) Charge any remaining batteries, radios, cell phones, computers, handheld game devices, and ipods (for entertainment and communications while the power is out.) 

5) Data from computers is backed up and securely stored. 

6) Paper records are secured. 

7) Important personal items, such as family photos are secured. 

8. Persons doing prep work in the immediate vicinity of the home should have a two way radio with them at all times, with someone in the home monitoring the radio. This is especially important for those living in rural areas with large amounts of property and when working a fair distance from the home. 

9) One person at all times should be monitoring Radio, Internet and television news. Continue to monitoring these sources while available. 
10 to 24 Hours Out 
1) Any items still outside the home are secured. 
2) Remaining storm shutters are installed. 
3) Vehicles are moved to the garage or a secure location. (If you have any trees around your house and no garage, move your vehicles to a nearby open area such as a store parking lot.)

4) Internal alternative light sources are made ready and strategically placed. (Flashlights, candles, matches, glowsticks, lanterns, etc.)

5) Food and water for the next 24-72 hours are made ready. Some perishable food for immediate use can be moved to coolers, which if properly packed and insulated will stay cool for two days. A layer of dry ice on the bottom of a cooler separated by a dish towel can keep items frozen for up to 4 days in the proper cooler. 

6) Turn freezer refrigerator temps down. Get them as cold as possible without freezing the coils. 

7) Turn air-conditioning down and get the house cool before the power goes out. 

8. Entertainment such as games, books are located and made ready.  Locate the items your small children need for comfort, such as blankets, pacifiers, and toys.

9) Charge laptops and cell phones. 

10) Wash all dishes. 

11) Any remaining laundry is done (earlier in the 24-hours before landfall and well before the likelihood of power failures). 

12) Depending on the water situation, sinks, bath tubs and containers should be filled with water and treated appropriately. (During Hurricane Fran, Cary had water, but the city of Zebulon did not.)

13) Move some frozen bottles to the refrigerator. 

14)Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed (once the power goes out, It may be 12 hours or more before the generator can fired up). 

15)Move bedding, pillows, cots to lowest level of your house, in preparation for sleeping.

16)Unplug TV’s and computers, in case of power surges from lightning.

3 Hours Out – (Power is Out )
1) Alternative lighting sources are activated. 

2) All AC Powered lights and appliances, televisions, computers (except one lamp) are unplugged. The breaker for the HVAC unit and water heater is shut off. Leaving one light connected to the AC [utility power] and in the on mode will provide an indication when the power returns. Once power returns, lamps and appliances can be powered up gradually to avert the effects of a power surge. Those with standby generators will handle this step differently depending on how their backup system is designed. 

3) If possible, use the remaining hot water; take a shower(s) assuming conditions warrant. 

4) Once hot water is used, and if using a hot water tank, close the incoming water valve; a fresh supply of water is now available. 

5) Activate the battery operated television or radio and monitor events. 

6) Sleep when and if possible in rotating shifts. 

7)If the situation warrants, move to a storm shelter or the most secure part of the house. 

Note from Amy:
This list is probably too comprehensive for our area, yet many of the items will be very necessary.

Please tweak the list based on the perceived severity of the storm in our area.

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