Primary threats associated with a hurricane are:
- Downed Power Lines
- Power outages.
- Water shortages.
- Food shortages.
The tips and products below will keep you informed, as well as prepared before, during, and after the storm.
Things You Need
Keep the items that you would most likely need in an easy-to-move container— suggested items are a large, covered trash container, camping backpack, or a duffle bag.
- A stocked Bug Out Bag with equipment, food, water.
- A home generator. At minimum, have an AC to DC convertor to use with your car's lighter jack.
- Fill your fuel tank to maximum. Have an extra red gas canister.
- Axe and a saw for limbs and debris. Here is how to use your saw.
- Battery or solar operated radio or app for your smartphone.
- Hand powered can opener.
- Special needs items such as prescription medications (minimum two-week supply), eye glasses, contact lens solutions, hearing aid batteries and other personal health items.
- Plastic bucket and lid
- Aluminum Foil and plastic wrap
- Zip bags (all sizes)
- LED Headlamp for night vision when electricity goes off. We recommend one per family member.
- Cell phone, cell phone batteries and extra chargers
- (Note: Include a telephone that plugs directly into a wall jack.)
- Insurance & medical records, passports, deeds, bank account numbers, credit card account numbers and companies, inventory of valuable household items, family records (Social Security cards, birth, marriage and death certificates), etc.
- Copies of important keys.
- Backup of computer files (on a CD, DVD, USB drive, etc.)
- List of important contact phone numbers stored in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag.
- Remove loose limbs and debris, including outdoor furniture. Park your vehicle in a garage.
- Charcoal and lighter fluid for your grill.
- Fill all containers you have at home with water, freeze them.
- Eat perishable items first.
- Use paper plates and plastic eating utensils.
- Clear gutters and ensure downspouts are directed away from your house.
- Fill your bathtub with water, for cleaning and flushing the toilet. Alternatively, place trash bag in bowl.
- Plastic sheeting and a staple gun in case any windows break.
- Baby wipes are great for cleaning.
- Your hot water heater is filled with water, access if necessary (make sure it is off).
- Turn fridge/freezer to maximum to preserve food for as long as possible
- Garden variety solar powered sticks can be used in a pinch.
- Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
- Close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
- Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems.
- Close the fireplace damper.
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, sinks, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils. TIP: First sterilize bathtubs and sinks with bleach, then flush with water to remove bleach.
- Go to an interior room without windows that’s above ground level.
- Bring your family disaster supplies kits with you.
- Also bring your pets with you, and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
- Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
- For maximum protection of windows insert a pre-cut form fitted plywood sheet affixed with Plylox Windstorm Window Clips.
No amount of preparedness or fortification will stand up to storm surge. If you are in a low lying coastal area and ordered to evacuate- do so. Secure your home and evacuate to a safe area. Your home and valuables are precious. Your life and that of your family is much more so.
In preparation for evac, first you need to know where you are going. You basically have two options-
- Stay with friends and family
- Go to a shelter
Your local Emergency Mangement Office or the American Red Cross will be your primary source for shelter location information.Should you choose to stay in a shelter, you will need to consider whether yourself or any person in your group has special needs. There will be shelters set up specifically for special medical needs or those with pets.
Sections 2 and 3 of this wiki outlined items critical items that you need. You will want to take these with you.In an evacuation, in addition to those items you will want extra clothing, food and comfort items. Keep in mind, when you leave your home, it may not be there when you get back.
If you are a firearms owner, you will want to consider storage arrangements for that collection. Shelters will not allow weapons on the premises. Vehicles in shelter parking lots are often a prime target for criminals as they become a temporary storage unit for a household's most prized possessions. For that reason, a locked vehicle at a shelter makes for a poor vault.
A storage unit outside of the evacuation zone can suffice in a pinch. Most storage facilities have layered security and onsite management. This can provide at the very least secure storage for weapons, and for the adventerous could be the shelter itself.
Many an onsite manager has appreciated the company during a hurricane party.
- Web hurricane tracking with projections Storm Pulse
- National Hurricane Tracking Center
- NYT Hurricane Irene hurricane tracker.
- Water temperature tracking.
- Data from the national water buoy network.
- Geocommons map.
- NYC hurricane evacuation map.
- NYC NYC Hurricane Evacuation Zone Resources Scroll down for an address query form and Google Earth layers.