It's that time of the year again, South Florida! That's right - it's Hurricane Season. Before severe weather strikes, the most important thing you can do is to get yourself, your family and your home prepared. It might seem like a daunting task, but being prepared can save you a lot of time and hassle. It only takes one storm to change your life and community.
Having an emergency plan is the most important thing you can do during this season. While most remember to gather water, food and a full tank of gas, there are a lot of other essentials that tend to get overlooked. To prepare for the unknown, each home should have at least the following Electronic Supplies and Necessities:
We won't often think about important documents when creating a Hurricane Kit, but if a storm destroyed your home, where would your important documents such as birth certificate, passport, deed, licenses and other records be? You should have scanned copies of all Government Issued IDs, Licenses, Permits, and Certifications for Each Family Member.
- Driver's License / ID
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Divorce / Custody Papers
- Work Permits / Licenses
- Social Security Card
- Gun Permit
- Immigration Papers
- Medical Records Including Prescription and Vaccination Records for Both Family and Pets
- Your Pet's License and Tag Number
- Bank and Credit Card Accounts
- Business Records
- Health Plan Information
- Insurance (Home/Auto)
- Real Estate / Mortgage or Rental Agreement
- Current Photos of Each Family Member and Pet
- Important Family Pictures
- Emergency Contact List with Addresses + Phone Numbers
Often after hurricanes, power isn't restored in an area for an extended period of time. Proper lighting can become crucial during severe weather. Case in point, if you keep your canned goods in the garage, finding food might be a task within itself! Opt for hand-crank lanterns and waterproof flashlights when searching for one to add to your Hurricane Kit. Remember to pack extra bulbs.
Keep your phone charged for the duration of the storm with a portable battery charger. Some portable power banks are even good for four to five full charges. When all else fails, have your laptop fully charged and save that charge for your phone with a USB Charger. Only when it becomes safe to go outside, you can also use your car to charge your phone with a cell phone car charger or power inverter.
2-Way Walkie Talkies
Worst case scenario - mobile phones no longer work. Cell phone towers could go down or your phone could just run out of battery. As you can imagine, communication during the storm is absolutely essential. Include Walkie-Talkies into your Hurricane Kit. Some of the newer 2-way FRS Radios have up to a 35 Miles range and are even waterproof.
An emergency weather radio or a portable digital TV is an absolutely vital tool if you want to be kept informed of potentially life-threatening emergencies such as thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes, chemical spills, fires, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Broadcasts of tornado warnings, flood warnings, AMBER Alerts for child abductions, chemical spill messages and many other notifications, in addition to routine weather observations and forecasts gives those in harm's way critical lead time to respond and remain safe.
In the event of a power outage, grilling out is a great option, so it's important to have a supply of propane and ready-to-light charcoal for your outdoor grill on-hand. For cooking on the grill, don't forget to grab a manual can opener, aluminum foil as well as a heavy-bottomed pan, sheet pans or griddles that can be placed on your grill. But remember, never cook inside with a gas or charcoal grill.
Unfortunately, property damage does occur during the Hurricane Season. It's imperative to document it with photos. Select a good camera that is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof so you can be ready to shoot even under extreme environments. You can even purchase a waterproof acrylic housing case for certain cameras. Your cellphone is a good option, but the photos can run down your battery as well.
Other equipment we tend to forget to pack are Basic Tools, like a Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, a Whistle to call out for help, and a First Aid Kit. A well-stocked First Aid Kit will help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. While you can buy a First Aid Kit at many drugstores or assemble your own, knowing how to use the items in a First Aid Kit is just as important as having them.
- Adhesive Tape
- Anesthetic Spray or Lotion for Itching Rashes and Insect Bites
- Antihistamine (Benadryl) for Allergic Reactions, Itching Rashes
- Gauze Pads
- Ace Bandages for Wrapping Sprained or Strained Joints, for Wrapping Gauze on to Wounds, for Wrapping on Splints
- Pain-Relievers like Ibuprofen or Aspirin
- Adhesive Bandages (all sizes)
- Exam Gloves - for Infection Protection (can be made into ice packs if filled with water and frozen)
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Polysporin Antibiotic Cream
- Nonadhesive Pads (Telfa) - for Covering Wounds and Burns
- Pocket Mask for CPR
- Safety Pins (large and small) - for Splinter Removal and for Securing Triangular Bandage Sling
- Tweezers for Splinters
- First Aid Instruction Booklet
- Aloe Vera Gel
We don't realize how much we rely on electricity until it's gone. The right generator can help keep you and your family safe, comfortable, and also keep all that expensive food in your fridge from spoiling if there's a long power outage. Since generators are difficult to understand, please visit the following link for more information: http://brandsmartusa.com/generators