What items should I take with me if I need to evacuate?
- clothes for a few days
- sturdy shoes
- important documents (social security card, birth certificates, Identification, insurance)
- toilet paper
- personal hygiene items
- wet wipes (great if there is no running water)
- cell phone/charger
- formula/baby gear for an infant
These are items above are just a guide of some of the items that you would need to take with you to a shelter or an alternative place to stay during a hurricane or emergency.
Tips to Use During a Hurricane
- Tie down any outdoor items that can be blown away.
- Turn up your freezer to the maximum temperature settings, this will help keep your food colder when the power goes off.
- Leave the freezer/refrigerator shut as much as possible once power does go out.
- Fill up your bathtubs with water, it can be used to flush toilets or provide your family with drinking water should the water supply be contaminated. If you have young children, make sure that you shut the door to the bathrooms to avoid drowning.
- Use caution when using candles once the sun goes down. Keep them away from curtains, blankets, ect to avoid a fire.
- Find board games, card games, a good book, or other fun items to keep occupied once the power goes off.
- Don’t use your telephone to alert family and friends of your status; instead, send a text message or update your status using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Email. Phone lines are usually jammed during storms and the lines need to be free for emergencies.
- Don’t call 911 unless you have a life threatening emergency.
- Stay inside and hunker down once the storm starts to arrive.
- Please don’t venture out even if it appears to be lightening up at this time. Wait until daylight to survey damage.
- NEVER use a generator or BBQ inside of your house.
- Move to an interior room, when you decide to retire for the evening.
- If you still have power, charge your cell phone, laptop, and rechargeable batteries. So that you have access to these items once the power goes out.
- Keep phones and phone accessories — batteries and chargers — in sealed plastic bags to avoid water damage.
- Downed power lines should be treated as LIVE. Never touch or move them.
- Unplug everything but your freezer or refrigerator, if possible, this will help avoid power surges.
- Just 6 inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over. 2 feet will float a car. Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater.
- As the eye of the storm passes over, the winds will shift and continue to dump rain onto already flooded streets. Stay home!
Find Live Emergency Information and Tips using Social Media
During Hurricane Sandy, I was helping provide updates and hurricane tips using Twitter, this is a great way for people to find up to date storm/emergency information quickly. Social media is a great way for people in an emergency to get information quickly so that they can preserve their cell phone batteries, while getting the information they need. I was happy that I was able to assist people during Hurricane Sandy. I was able to provide updates while people in the direct path of the storms were losing power. I choose to help because I have experienced a few hurricanes and knew what it was like not having power to get information about the storm. I would be more than happy to assist others during a hurricane again.