Hurricane checklist

April 21, 2013 

If a huge force of nature with the energy of several hundred hydrogen bombs comes barreling toward the Lowcountry, residents should be prepared for decisions and deadlines.

Here are some guidelines:

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW

  • Put together your hurricane kit.
  • Decide where to go in the event of a hurricane evacuation and how to get there.
  • Assign each family member a task, to cut down on chaos.
  • Make arrangements for pets -- American Red Cross shelters won't take them.
  • Catalog your possessions.
  • Photograph valuables. Make sure you have enough film or disk space for "before" and "after" photos. There are several online tools, including smartphone and tablet apps, that can assist you.
  • Have adequate insurance. Read your policy.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers nearby.
  • Keep family records and documents accessible and protected.
  • If you have a boat, consider safe anchorage options.
  • Purchase a cooler that keeps things cold for up to five or six days.
  • Social Security check recipients should use direct deposit, the U.S. Treasury Department recommends. That helps ensure seamless delivery of federal benefit payments.

ITEMS FOR YOUR HURRICANE KIT

  • Three- to seven-day supply of food and water; one gallon of water per person and pet per day; nonperishable packaged or canned food
  • Manual can opener and utensils
  • First aid kit, medications
  • Special items for infants and the elderly
  • Toiletries and hygiene items
  • Extra clothing, blankets, pillows, etc.
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Cash
  • Tools
  • Keys
  • Road maps, including evacuation routes
  • Baby supplies
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Games and books
  • Plastic trash bags with ties and large zip-close plastic bags
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire repair kit
  • If you plan on staying in an emergency shelter, take linens with you.
  • A copy of this newspaper section might prove helpful, too.
IF A HURRICANE THREATENS
  • Make sure your car is filled with gas.
  • Refill prescription drugs.
  • Have cash or travelers checks available.
  • Pack irreplaceable items, such as photo albums, to take with you.
AROUND THE HOUSE
  • Board up windows.
  • Put loose outdoor items in storage.
  • Check for loose gutters and spouts.
  • Move valuables to higher levels.
  • Move furniture away from windows and cover with plastic.
  • Remove valuables, such as furniture and rugs, from floor of house.
  • Secure windows and doors from the inside.
  • Trim dead branches.
  • Anchor small sheds.
  • Put chlorine in pool; protect filter motor.
  • Dangerous chemicals, insecticides, herbicides or gasoline should be put in watertight containers and in a high spot.
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs and bottles. You should have enough water on hand for seven days.
TIPS FOR YOUR CELLPHONE
  • Program emergency contact numbers.
  • Designate someone out of the area as a central contact.
  • Make certain all family members know whom to contact if they become separated.
  • Keep phone batteries charged at all times.
  • Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation.
  • Often in an emergency, text messages will go through quicker than voice calls.
WHEN YOU EVACUATE
  • Turn off electricity at main breaker and shut off gas.
  • Towels or rugs should be put around openings to reduce seepage.
  • Lock all doors.
  • If there's something that's really valuable to you, stick it in the dishwasher and close the door.
  • Register yourself as "safe and well" at redcross.org. Concerned family and friends can search for their loved one's name, an "as of" date and the messages selected.

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