Hurricane

Keep this hurricane preparation checklist handy in case of emergency

Workers hammer plywood over the windows of a home in Folly Beach. S.C., on Oct. 5, 2016.
Workers hammer plywood over the windows of a home in Folly Beach. S.C., on Oct. 5, 2016. AP

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 in an easy-to-carry container.

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.

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. Put important family documents and records in a waterproof container.

AROUND THE HOUSE

Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.

Put loose outdoor items in storage.

Turn off propane tank.

Unplug small appliances.

Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if power goes out.

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 and 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 cellphone 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 the 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 www.redcross.org/safeandwell or by calling 1-866-GET-INFO. Concerned family and friends can search for their loved one’s name, an “as of” date and the messages selected.

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, prescription medication

Special items for infants and the elderly

Toiletries and hygiene items

Extra clothing and shoes

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 and pump

If you plan on staying in an emergency shelter, take linens with you.

A copy of this newspaper section might also prove to be helpful.

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