Hurricane Florence is headed to the East Coast this weekend and many are looking to prepare for the rain it will bring on its arrival. The National Weather Service predicts some rivers could reach minor to moderate flood stage. Governors in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia have already declared a “state of emergency” because the Hurricane is expected to become a Category 4 storm, with winds over 115 MPH and possible catastrophic flooding.
While the D.C. area is only expected to deal with an enormous amount of rain, it’s still smart to know how to prepare for a Hurricane. June 1st kicks off Hurricane season so here are some things to look for when preparing for a Hurricane.
Put together an emergency kit to place at your home, car or place of work. Here are some basics:
Water — one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
Food — at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Fill your car up with gas
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener for food
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
Glasses and contact lens solution
Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Cash or traveler’s checks
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
Matches in a waterproof container
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
Paper and pencil
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Tips in evacuation
During an evacuation, the Department of Homeland Security suggests downloading the FEMA smartphone app in order to find open shelters during an active disaster.
Other tips include:
Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.Take your emergency supply kit.
Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
If time allows:
Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.