It is not too early to prepare for whatever this hurricane season may bring our way. While some prep work may have to be last minute, the majority of these steps can be done ahead of time.
1. Have an evacuation plan in place. This is especially important for those requiring special accommodations such as for wheelchairs, oxygen use, vision problems or memory impairment. Decide where you or your loved one will evacuate to if needed, what route you will take, and at what point you will go. Have a couple of plans in case the storm coming to our area also plans to visit your first choice for evacuating. Make sure necessary family and friends know of your plan and how they can reach you.
2. Have necessary transportation and gas. Throughout hurricane season, it is a good idea to keep your gas tank full and have an extra 5 gallons in a gas-approved container. Don't wait until a storm is named and everyone else is trying to fill up their car. Arrange any transportation with someone reliable in case you need to evacuate and you do not have your own transportation.
3. Have emergency kit or "go bag" packed including:
- an adequate supply of necessary prescription and over-the-counter medicine stored in a sealed bag or container in case of flooding
- basic first aid items such as bandages of various sizes, gauze, tape, antibiotic cream or gel, sanitizing wipes or pads, etc.
- necessary phone numbers. Even if you have numbers in your cell phone and/or 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.
- necessary cards, documents and cash. Include copies of your driver’s license or other id, health insurance and prescription cards, insurance policies for home and vehicles, etc.
4. Have clean water. A common recommendation is to have 5 gallons of water per person for drinking and sanitation.
5. Have non-perishable food. You will want to have at least a 5-day supply of non-perishable food. Think about what you are able to prepare without electricity. Also have some snacks that are easy to eat in the car if evacuation is necessary.
6. Don’t forget your pet! Make sure to have necessary pet meds and food.
7. Purchase or gather miscellaneous items for if you stay or go. Don’t forget to gather together the following items.
- Flashlights (This is a good time to make sure they work and have fresh batteries.)
- 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 (Make sure you have one that doesn't require electricity!)
- Paper plates, cups and plasticware
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes
- Plastic bags for sanitation
- Hand cleaner and wipes
- Dust mask
8. Know where you have the following items for your 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. (We will hang the paper lanterns available at the dollar store in all bathrooms if we think we might lose electricity.)
- Have duct tape, rope, plastic sheeting and/or tarps accessible.
- Have extra gas for your grill.
9. Complete last minute preparations closer to a storm's arrival
- make sure car has a full tank of gas and tires have adequate pressure
- keep phones and computers charged
- wash all clothes and dishes so they have time to dry and the house has time to cool back down
- place bottles of water in the freezer
- board windows if necessary
- have coolers accessible
- 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.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Wilmington, NC, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (910) 363-2866