With Hurricane Irma posing a potential threat to the east coast, we thought it was a good time to remind you of some important hurricane tips for preparing yourself or those you love for the possible effects of what is now considered an Extreme Category 5 Storm.
- Have an evacuation plan in place. This is especially important for those who may need special accommodations such as might be needed for wheelchairs, oxygen use, vision problems or memory impairment. Decide where you or your loved one will be going, what route you will take and at what point you will go. Make sure necessary family and friends know of your plan and how they can reach you.
- Have necessary transportation and gas. If you have a loved one who no longer drives, you want to make sure you arrange any transportation with someone reliable. It is also a good idea to make sure you and your loved ones with vehicles have a full tank of gas.
- Have an adequate supply of necessary prescription and over-the-counter medicine. These should not only be available, but stored in a sealed bag or container in case of flooding and put together in a hurricane emergency kit so they are not forgotten if you need to leave in a hurry.
- Include basic first aid items in your emergency kit. Include some bandages of various sizes, gauze, tape, antibiotic cream or gel, sanitizing wipes or pads, etc.
- Have necessary phone numbers. In this age of cell phones, many of us have all our numbers stored in our phones so that we may no longer know the numbers by heart or have them even written down anywhere else. Make sure you and your loved ones have a list of important phone numbers written or printed out and in the sealed bag or container in the hurricane emergency kit. Even if you have numbers memorized, it is a good idea to have them written out in case you lose access to your cell phone and an emergency situation challenges your memory. Make sure to include numbers for family and friends, physician, pharmacist, insurance company, vet, etc.
- Have necessary cards, documents and cash. Within your sealed container you will also want cash, driver’s license or other id, health insurance and prescription cards, insurance policies for home and vehicles, etc.
- Have clean water. A common recommendation is to have 3 gallons of water per person for drinking and sanitation.
- Have non-perishable food. You will want to have at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food. Consider placing your food and water in a cooler near your emergency kit so you can grab it quickly if an emergency evacuation is necessary. Don’t forget to have pet food gathered as well.
- Gather miscellaneous items for if you stay or go. Don’t forget to gather together the following items to keep near your emergency kit and cooler of food and water both for use if you stay or accessible to grab if you have to go.
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries for flashlight and radio.
- Whistle or other noisemaker to signal for help
- Chargers for phone including any battery chargers you may have
- Can opener for opening food cans
- Paper plates, cups and plasticware
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Plastic bags for sanitation
- Hand cleaner and wipes
- Dust mask
- Checklist for the home.
- Have a pliers or wrench handy for turning off utilities if needed.
- Make sure there is a clear path to your breaker box.
- Make sure you have flashlights available and easily accessible in bedrooms and bathrooms in case of an electrical outage during the night.
- Have duct tape, rope, plastic sheeting and/or tarps accessible.
- Have extra gas for your grill.
- Before the high winds begin, bring outdoor items inside if possible. Secure larger items with hurricane straps.
If your loved one is evacuating for the storm, make sure they have someone to help with the above items either before they leave or after they have gone as is appropriate.
Below you will find some additional resources that may help you plan for yourself or a loved one who resides in New Hanover County.
Emergency Kit Supplies List including a detailed list for First Aid Kit: http://em911.nhcgov.com/be-prepared-ready-nhc/emergency-kit-supplies/
Avoiding Hurricane Damage for Homeowners: http://em911.nhcgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Avoiding-Hurricane-Damage-Howeowners-Checklist.pdf
National Storm Tracker: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central
Local WECT’s Hurricane Survival Guide: http://www.wect.com/category/195039/hurricane-survival-guide