For my own sanity I have collected / compiled this list of prep tips - for your health and happiness I share them. Your needs will differ depending on your household, but these are some basics if you plan to shelter in place:
To Do BEFORE a storm makes landfall:
- Make sure your pantry is stocked with non-perishable foods that can be eaten at room temperature (you may not be able to heat / cook). This can include cans of beans, cereals, rice cakes, crackers, granola / granola bars, nuts, and the like. Don't forget, an electric can opener won't be much good in case of a power outage!
- Gather food-safe containers with lids such as pitchers to fill with water in case of flooding or heavy rains which could compromise your tap water.
- If you live with companion animals, make sure you are stocked for their care as well.
- Gather or purchase flashlights, new batteries, candles, matches, and a first aid kit including an antiseptic. Also include a battery-powered radio if possible.
- Stock up or locate trash bags, paper towels, disposable plates and utensils, and other items to help keep things sanitary in the event that you can't leave the house for a few days.
- Purchase or locate plywood or cardboard, masking tape, and other supplies that can be used to block vulnerable windows.
- As crazy as it may seem, there is a reason that people in New Orleans have always kept an ax in the attic.
- Move your car to the highest ground possible, and remove all personal items from it.
- Apply protective barriers to the windows in case of objects being propelled by high winds.
- Check your property for any loose items that could become projectiles; bring them inside or secure them.
- Fill as many food-safe containers as possible with fresh water for drinking.
- While you still have electricity, charge laptops and cell phones to 100%.
- While you still have water, take a shower!
- Get all of your laundry done - there's no telling how long you could be without water and/or electricity.
- Likewise, make sure all your dishes are washed, and be prepared to use disposable dishware.
- Once everyone has bathed, fill bathtub(s) with water for uses other than consumption (toilet flushing, etc.).
Remember, the goal is to stay safe! Best to you all, now and throughout this half year we call hurricane season.