Here in North Carolina, just as soon as the Hurricanes' season ends, the hurrican season begins. We say goodbye to Skinner and Staal (too soon this year, my friends, too soon) and hello to flashlights and batteries. Yep, the start of the Stanley Cup finals means the start of hurricane season for all of us on the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and Hawaii.
The good news: getting ready for hurricane season isn't nearly as difficult as training for the NHL hockey season. Here's the down and dirty guide to being ready when the next storm hits:
- Know the location of your nearest shelter (your county's Emergency Management website will have this information. Have pets? The you should have a plan for them too. Check out this great info from the US Humane Society on disaster planning for your pets.
- Catalog your belongings before disaster strikes with this nifty (free!) iPhone app that allows you to store photos, barcodes, and serial numbers of your personal property. This way you'll be ready to make insurance claims or take tax deductions for storm losses.
- Avoid the pre-hurricane run on the grocery stores and stock up now on
- a radio
- flashlights, candles or lamps, and matches
- canned foods, pwdered milk, and other non-perishable foods you can prepare without cooking
- lumber, plywood, and masking tape to protect your windows
- first aid supplies
- a manual can opener
- Keep your gas take at least half full at all times. Gas pumps won't work if the power goes out!
- Neither will ATMs. Stash some cash now in case you need it during a bad storm.
- Go ahead and refill your prescriptions.
- Be prepared for drinking water contamination. Have some clean, airtight containers on hand that you can fill up if a hurricane watch is issued. Sorry, your Brita filter won't cut it your county orders a boil water advisory… even filtered water must be boiled if your county suspects bacteria in the water supply!
Quick note–once officials give word that the water is safe again, you'll need to take a few precautions:
- Replace all water filters (faucet, fridge) that were installed when the water went bad
- Toss your ice cubes and disinfect ice cube trays and containers
- Run cold water faucets for one minute before using the water.
- Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 120°.