With the commencement of hurricane season just a few days away, perhaps one of the most important things to remember is never take Mother Nature for granted and always be prepared.
Here are some hints on how to weather the storm:
Protect your home: You know the drill — make sure your insurance is up to date long before hurricane season starts and have plenty of cash, food and water on hand — but did you know you should also crank up the air conditioning and freezer and refrigerator settings to the coldest possible setting in case you loose your electricity? Another hint is to fill as many Ziploc bags as possible with ice and cram them in every nook and cranny in the freezer. As long as you don’t open your freezer more than is absolutely necessary, these pre-packed bags of ice should keep everything in the freezer nice and cold.
With the exception of your refrigerator, be sure to unplug EVERY single appliance and gadget in your home. If your home is flooded, the last thing you want is to trip over a live wire while standing ankle-deep in water.
(After a storm, when everything is operational and your electricity is running properly, return the HVAC and refrigerator settings back to their normal settings.)
Protect your family: Keep identification on you and your family at all times, including a laminated, wallet-sized In Case of Emergency (I.C.E.) card listing emergency contact names and numbers, insurance information and important medical information, such as allergies, doctor’s names and contact numbers, prescriptions and any known health issues.
Keep a current photo of each and every family member and pet on hand in case someone goes missing. This is especially important if you have young children and/or older family members living at home who might get disoriented and lost during or after a storm.
Protect your pets: During the storm, secure animals in a crate with their favorite toys and a long-lasting rawhide bone. After the storm, keep them tethered to a harness AND leash at all times until everything returns to “normal.” Make sure their identification is up to date and, if possible, have them microchipped as well. Save copies of your pets’ most recent veterinary reports (vaccines and licenses) to a flash drive.
Protect your valuables: When disaster is imminent, we’re suddenly faced with trying to decide what means the most to each one of us. Typically people who have suffered through a major disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado or earthquake, lament the most over the loss of family photos. To prevent this from happening, not to mention cut down on an immense amount of clutter, consider scanning all your photographs and saving them to a flash drive, as well as to the Cloud.
It’s also a good idea, once every five years or so, to take photos and/or a video of your personal property to save in case of an emergency.
Protect your papers: Backup your computer files to a cloud-based server and keep an external hard-drive AND flash drive in a Ziploc bag. Store your computer tower and/or laptop in the dishwasher or clothes dryer. Both appliances, when closed and locked, are airtight.
Prepare a checklist of important papers to take with you in case of an emergency. This list should include, among other things, passports and naturalization papers, credit/debit and ATM cards, checkbooks; Last Will & Testament and related trust papers; birth certificates, wedding certificates and divorce papers; car titles and registrations, current HUD statements, mortgage papers, medical records, pet licenses/vaccinations, insurance policies (medical, auto, umbrella, wind, flood & homeowners) and any other papers you need, including copies of medical, dental, eyeglass and hearing prescriptions. All of these papers should be placed in an airtight plastic container to take with you. For extra protection, scan and save to a flash drive, as well as to a cloud-based server.
You should also prepare a master list of account numbers and contact names/numbers. Besides saving this information to a flash-drive, be sure to printout a hard copy for easy access after the storm in case you don’t have access to your computer.
Another thing to do before the storm hits is to get all the laundry done, run the dishwasher and clean your home completely. If your electricity goes out, having a week’s worth of clean clothing will make your life a whole lot easier post hurricane.
Be prepared: Remember, just because hurricane season officially starts June 1st and ends Nov. 30, doesn’t mean a storm won’t hit before or after those dates! Be smart. Be safe. Be prepared. Be proactive.
Source: Naples News