Storm survival 101: Stock up on supplies


Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.

The disaster plan

-- Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone.

-- Install safety features in your house, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

-- Inspect your home for potential hazards (items that can move, fall, break or catch fire) and correct them.

-- Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid; how to use a fire extinguisher; and how and when to turnoff water, gas and electricity in your home.

-- Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number.

-- Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency and a place away from your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Choose an out-of-state friend as your “family check-in contact” for everyone to call if the family gets separated.

-- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller disaster supplies kit in the trunk of your car.

-- Keep enough supplies in your home for at least three days. Assemble a disaster supplies kit (as listed below). Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffle bags.

The disaster checklist

-- General flashlights and or lantern with extra batteries. Candles are not recommended because they can pose a fire hazard if left unattended.

-- A corded, land-line telephone. Cordless telephones do not work without power

-- Extra, charged cell phone battery and or car charger for cell phone

-- Radio, and/or weather radio (NOAA radio) with extra batteries

-- Camera and film; extra batteries. To take photographs of damage for insurance purposes

-- Fire extinguisher

-- Sterno fuel and unit; charcoal and lighter or propane for gas grill

-- Tools: Keep a set with you during the storm. A pocketknife, nails, saw, a hammer, an ax and rope are important. Towels and buckets are useful if you develop a leak.

Clothing, bedding

-- One blanket and or sleeping bag a person, stored in a watertight container

-- One change of clothes and shoes a person, stored in a watertight container

-- Rain gear, heavy/sturdy boots or shoes; work gloves, and hat or cap to wear in sun

Medical, personal hygiene

-- First-aid kit and manuals

-- Sunscreen and insect repellent

-- Bleach, for demolding

-- Medications and specific medical information. Special infant needs diapers, bottles formula and food.

Food, water and supplies

-- Drinking water. One gallon a person, a day. A three day supply is recommended. (Replace stored water every six months)

-- Special infant needs, diapers, bottles and formula, medicine

-- Pantry well stocked: canned goods, dry milk, dry cereals, powered drinks, pastas

-- Non-electric can opener; plastic utensils, disposable plates; garbage bags

-- Extra ice in freezer, when storm is approaching

Other needs

-- Car tank filled with gasoline

-- Flat fixer for tires, properly inflated spare tire

-- Air horn or whistle (to call for help)

-- Fill tub and large containers with water for flushing toilet if water supply stops

-- Pets inside or otherwise protected, ample supply of pet food

-- Loose outside objects stored or secured

-- Tree branches tied or cut

-- Inventory of personal belongings for insurance claims: A written list and proof of purchase (receipts, warranties) for expensive items. Supplement with photographs or video and keep with important documents in secure location (safe-deposit box, workplace or out-of-state relative).

Other needs: Bring to a shelter

-- Prescription medicines

-- Baby food and diapers

-- Cards, games, books, toys

-- Toiletries

-- Battery-powered radio

-- Flashlight (one per person)

-- Extra batteries

-- Blankets or sleeping bags

-- Identification

-- Valuable papers (insurance)

-- Cash (with some small bills) and credit cards. Banks and ATMs might not be available for extended periods.

Post-storm cleanup

-- Duct tape

-- Bleach

-- Tarp to temporarily cover damaged areas

-- Water purification tablets

Source: National Hurricane Center, American Red Cross

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