Hurricane Preparedness; Before, During, and After the Storm

— Written By

Hearing the word hurricane can bring about fear, intimidation, and anxiety. The key to surviving a hurricane is preparation. Although we can not guarantee the track of a hurricane or what will happen from an impending hurricane,  we can prepare our family and homes for the event. Here are a few tools to help you prepare.

All of the following links and articles can be found on the NC State Extension Disaster Information Center.

Before the Storm:

 Helping Your Family Prepare for a Disaster

Talk with family about the possibility of a hurricane.

Make emergency plans and practice and discuss these plans prior to the event.

Help children to practice dialing 911 or other emergency numbers.

Review emergency plans with older or disabled relatives living at home.

Protecting Valuable Records

It is important to make sure you keep copies of any valuable papers in a safe deposit box or waterproof, fireproof, locked box. The above link provides a list of papers you should keep in the boxes.

It is important for you to have a disaster kit for staying at home. Some items you will need are water, ready-to-eat food, foods for infants and elderly persons, or those on special diets, canned meats such as tuna and Vienna sausage. You will need ways to prepare the food such as charcoal or gas for gas grill. Clothing and bedding, first aid kit, emergency supplies and tools, and sanitation items need to be in your kit. A complete list can be found here A Disaster Kit for Staying at Home

An Evacuation Disaster Kit is a great way to make sure your family has what they need in case you have to evacuate your home.

Plan for your pet in the case of an emergency. If you must evacuate your home it is wise to take your pets with you. Although trained service dogs are allowed in emergency shelters, other pets are not allowed due to public health and safety reasons. You need to have other plans for your pets. Caring for Your Pet in an Emergency

During the Storm:

“I’m hungry” is a term we will hear no matter what is happening outside. Here are a few tips and ideas for meals that require no cooking.

Foods that Require No Cooking

Fruit or canned juice, ready-to eat cereals or breakfast bars, breads or crackers with jams, jellies, margarine, peanut butter, cheese, or cheese spreads. Milk ( canned, evaporated, or reconstituted powdered milk, which may also be used in coffee or tea). Instant coffee, tea, or cocoa ( if tap water is hot enough). Canned vegetables, canned meats, fish and poultry, canned beans, raw vegetables such as celery and carrots, fruits, and canned puddings. You can also put together “No-Cook” Food Bags.

After the Storm

Meal Preparation and Food Safety After a Power Failure

After a storm you may have no power. Here are a few tips to help you if you loose power. With the door closed, food in most freezers will stay below 40 degrees F for up to 3 days, even in summer. Thawing rate depends on the amount of food in the freezer, the kind of food, temperature of the food, the freezer, and the size of the freezer. You may safely re-freeze foods that still contain ice crystals or have been kept at 41 degrees F or below.