Preparing Your Home
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Stock up on bottled water, nonperishable food, medicine, baby supplies and pet food. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day.
If your water is pumped electrically, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water in case power goes off. You can flush toilets by pouring a bucket of water into the bowl.
If your freezer is relatively empty, fill used plastic soda bottles or other plastic containers with water and put them in the freezer.
During an extended outage, transfer some of the containers to your refrigerator.
Turn off and unplug any electrical equipment you’re not using — especially sensitive equipment such as computers, televisions and VCRs.
Make sure that cell phone batteries are charged.
Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
Keep extra cash on hand.
In case family members are separated from one another, have a plan for getting in touch. Agree on an out-of-state relative or friend that family members will contact.
Place critical documents, such as birth certificates and insurance documents in a safe place — either water and fireproof containers or a bank safe deposit box.
Create a “disaster kit” that includes:
- A NOAA weather radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- 3 day supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking)
- Manual can opener
- One-week supply of essential prescription medications
- Extra blankets
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members, including baby food and diapers.
For additional information visit: Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness.
After the Storm
To report outages, call 1-888-802-1832 or 1-866-899-4832 or text #outage to 85700 from any registered cell phone.
Treat all downed lines as if they’re carrying electric current. Do not touch or try to move them. It’s especially important to keep children and animals away.
Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911. Stay clear of puddles, fences, trees or any other object in contact with a power line.
Do not burn charcoal or run any gasoline-powered equipment in an enclosed space. They may produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless poisonous gas.
Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials.
Don’t open refrigerators any more than necessary. Read about food safety on the USDA’s website for more information.
Turn off your heating and A/C systems and unplug electronic appliances such as TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens and computers. This will protect them against voltage fluctuations that may occur when the power is restored.