For those of us that live in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States, it looks like we are in for some trouble from Hurricane Irene. The Weather Channel is forecasting a “serious and multi-hazard threat” for the major metropolitan areas of the Northeast along and east of the I-95 corridor, including New York City, Long Island, Philadelphia, Hartford and Boston. This forecast is “the worst [The Weather Channel] has seen in decades” for this area, and has the “potential to produce flooding rains and storm surges, high winds, downed trees (on houses, cars, power lines) and widespread power outages.” The severity of the impacts will be determined by Irene’s exact path and intensity, which we will see in the next few days.
Whether we get slammed or just impacted by Irene, it is worth being prepared in the event that you or your property suffer severe damage. Think about the supplies that you will need to survive for multiple days without power (especially if you are stuck in a flooded area and help can not come as soon as you’d like). The following is a list to have if you are evacuating, but many apply to those staying home as well. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies as you will encounter crowds and the supplies you need may be out of stock.
Hurricane Survival Kit
from The Weather Channel’s Dr. Rick Knabb
The recommendation is to have 1 gallon per person, per day for at least 3 days, preferably up to 7 days.
- Non-Perishable Foods-
You won’t be able to refrigerate food if the power goes out. Get foods that can be cooked on the grill (if you fill up your propane tank prior to the storm).
- Manual Can Opener-
The electric opener will not work if the power is out.
- Prescription Medicines (7 day supply at least)-
Get prescriptions filled before the storm strikes (as you may not be able to get to the store for a while).
- Special Needs for Children, Seniors or People with Disabilities
Be sure to have enough sanitation and personal hygiene supplies to keep you and your family clean (for the little ones, make sure you have plenty of diapers and wipes to keep them comfortable).
- Sturdy Shoes-
Do not forget some warm socks.
Make sure you pack a few changes of clothing for each person in your family. Despite the summer season, be sure to pack warm clothing since the weather is unpredictable and waterproof outerwear.
- First Aid Kit-
More than just band aids, get the things you will need if someone is injured during the storm and you are not able to get emergency help right away. The Red Cross has a comprehensive list of the items you should have in your first aid kit.
- Battery Powered or Hand Crank Radio-
If your electric is down, you will need a basic radio that can run on alternate power source.
- Photos of Family Members and Pets-
If anyone goes missing during the storm, you will want to have photos to circulate so that you have a better chance of locating them. This may seem extreme, but you just never know what may happen. Having photos helped families during Katrina and the tsunami in Japan.
Avoid candles, as they pose a big fire hazard. There are great options for battery powered lights that are bright enough to fill up a room.
- Batteries, batteries and more batteries-
You will need batteries to power flashlights, lanterns, radios and many of the things that will provide comfort to you and your family during and after the storm.
ATM’s will not work if the power is out.
- Important Papers-
If you are evacuating, take important papers with you (especially papers that you will need if you must file an insurance claim). If you are staying home, put them in a water safe bag at the highest level of your home.
- A Full Tank of Gas-
In case you need to evacuate, this is not the time to stop and fill up. Think ahead and fill ‘er up now so that you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.
- Something to Keep Busy-
Storm conditions during and even after the storm may keep you confined to a safe place for a while. Be sure to bring games and activites to keep everyone busy such as card games, board games and books.
For more tips on preparing for a hurricane, read this guide from The Weather Channel.
Know Irene’s whereabouts with the Hurricane Tracker.
“Plan for the worst, pray for the best.” This statement was well put by North Carolina Governer Bev Purdue. To our families, friends and neighbors, we hope you do just that. If you have any questions that we can help you with, do not hesitate to call us at Mackoul & Associates.