Paths of powerful storms are often tracked days, even weeks, in advance before they make landfall, giving local residents at least some time to batten down the hatches and gather the appropriate necessities. However, sometimes storms can change direction on a dime and thus hit the shores of an unsuspecting population. In order to mitigate the amount of damage caused by hurricanes or tropical storms, every family should have their own emergency plan checklist in place.
When news of strong winds hits, an emergency checklist will help your family be as prepared as possible before the storm arrives. What should you include in your hurricane preparedness checklist?
Here are some essentials:
Prepare an emergency kit
Each household should prepare an emergency kit with enough supplies for each family member to last for a minimum of 72 hours until assistance arrives. This kit should be easy to carry and placed in an easily accessible location so that it can be grabbed quickly should there be an immediate need for evacuation, such as the front closet or by the back door.
Your emergency kit should include (but is not limited to):
- Water (At least two liters per person per day)
- Non-perishable food (For example, canned goods and dried foods)
- First aid kit (With bandages and antiseptic ointment in case of infection)
- Extra batteries
Plan an evacuation route and meeting place
In case the order for an evacuation comes, ensure that all members of your family know the quickest and the safest route to safety. Make sure that you plan multiple routes out in case one or more become impassable due to fallen trees or flooding. Identify a safe location, such as the nearest hurricane shelter, and plan to meet up there in case any family members get separated or are not home at the time of the evacuation order.
Account for your pets
Don't leave your furry family behind when disaster strikes. If you have pets, make sure to include them in your emergency plan. Keeping in mind that not all shelters welcome animals, you need to know where you are allowed to take them and ensure that you pack enough food and water for them in your emergency kit. Seek out pet-friendly shelters in advance or plan to take them with you to stay with family or friends who are out of harm's way.
Subscribe to emergency notifications
Signing up to receive alerts during emergencies is a useful way to stay up to date with the latest weather reports and make sure that you receive any evacuation warnings that may be issued. Receive these notifications to the communication method that is most convenient to you – be that email, text messages, or phone calls. Learn what travel routes may be impacted by the hurricane and adjust your evacuation plan accordingly without having to do trial by error, ensuring your family can escape the storm as safely and as efficiently as possible.
A proper and comprehensive hurricane preparedness checklist can make all the difference whenever your family is faced with a storm warning. Knowing exactly what you must do and where you must go can help reduce the amount of anxiety that comes with having to round up the family and ensure their safety, while trying to figure out where to go in an evacuation scenario.
Visit this page to learn more about a selection of tools SimplyCast has developed especially to help with communication during emergencies such as hurricanes.