The National Hurricane Center has declared the week of May 23rd National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The most important thing that anyone living in a hurricane zone can do is to be informed and prepared. Unfortunately the combination of fear and a general lack of time means too many people will put preparing off until it’s too late.
The first thing people need to remember is that being prepared doesn’t have to involve backbreaking work. The good news is that there are simple things you can do in 20 minutes or less each day this week that will get you prepared where it counts. By the end of the week, you’ll be ready for whatever Mother Nature sends your way.
Organize Your Emergency Plan
We’re not talking a tome here! Just three things. Know evacuation routes. Designate specific meeting places both close to home and farther away. Get contact info for an out of state person that everyone can contact to relay news to in case you are separated.
Hold a State of the Union
Take the time to discuss as a family or group. Ensure that everybody is aware and knows exactly what to do, where to go, and who to contact.
Document Your Valuables
Walk room-to-room with a camera or pen & paper and document furniture, electronics, collectibles, clothes, and other items of value. Estimate the replacement value for each and check that you have adequate insurance. The perfect template is linked below- just fill in the forms provided and voila – you have a record of your valuables. Remember – the list doesn’t have to be perfect. If you can’t get through it all in one 20 minute session, try to cover one room a night.
Have Records Ready
You can’t grab your filing cabinet and take it with you in an emergency. But you can grab a binder, such as the one linked below, an accordion folder or laptop computer. Make sure you carry your most important information with you.
Organize Your Emergency Kit
Put water, canned food, cash and a first aid kit in a waterproof box. Make sure you have enough food and water to last each person in the house at least 5 days.