Beginning on June 1st. every year this area enters the annual Hurricane season which lasts until November 30th. The annual June ritual should include the following as minimums:
- Purchase new flashlights and new batteries, include batteries for all radios and portable TV. After Feb 2009, old style analog TV tuners on older style sets will no longer work when the digital mandate goes into effect.
- Purchase new bottled water at least one gallon per person per day in your household for at least 1 week. Last years water is probably rancid by now, discard and recycle the containers please, freeze the small small bottles if you have freezer space, they will help save your frozen foods/perishables, and provide cold drinking water for days.
- Canned goods including high protein items which can be warmed to eat or eaten cold; include juices. Paper plates, plastic utensils and heavy duty garbage bags. Dry pet foods. Don't forget a manual can opener.
- Evaluate prescription drugs, make sure you always have a 30 days supply. Including pet medications.
- Freeze a couple of empty milk or water jugs for a large block of ice, this will help preserve your perishables for several days. DO NOT DRINK milk jug ice water, but use for washing, or a cool refreshing wipe off in the heat.
- Keep gas grill tanks full during summer months, refill quickly. DO NOT STORE INSIDE THE HOUSE.
- Go to your bank and get some cash. ATM's will not be working for days after the storm, some stores will be open but will not be taking credit cards or checks. Helpers will ask for cash to help cut trees and clear lots. In the past a family of four has found that $500.00 was usually adequate. Keep your cash safe and secured throughout Hurricane Season.
- Call your insurance agent, make sure that you have adequate coverage and it is up to date.
- Cook some pasta, freeze portions of cooked pasta in small sandwich bags. Thaws quickly, mix with canned sauce; it is even good cold.
- Turn fridge and freezer to coldest setting, watch out for frozen milk and juices in the refrigerator and adjust.
- Do every piece of laundry in the house. You will not have water or washers for days after the storm, and in the summer heat you will be changing clothes often. Do laundry every day to keep up with it until the watch is lowered.
- Fill every gas tank with gasoline, buy gas every day till the watch is lowered so tanks are always full. DO NOT store or hoard gasoline in garages in cans or jugs.. As of 2007, many gas stations are required to have backup generators, so gas will be available when the emergency is over. Find out which station in your area is equipped with backup power.
- Inspect all hurricane protection. Consider installing second floor panels while the wind is still tolerable.
- Locate all passports, identification, insurance documents, computer backup disks, bank account records, medical records and other family important papers and secure them in an airtight/watertight "tupperware" container.
- Charge up cellular phone and laptop computer batteries.
- Determine the "safe room" in your house. Assemble your family for a safe room drill. Assemble bedding, games, radio/tv, overnight foods, your tupperware of important papers, tools, an axe or sledge hammer (emergency escape assistance).
- Ask your Vet about a light sedative for your animals. Lowered barometric pressure, noise and family stress can make animals uncontrollable in small spaces. Consider crating your animal for their own protection. Make sure your leash and muzzle are in your safe room.
- Repeat all of the above under Hurricane Watch if not yet complete.
- Install all hurricane protection panels. If you are unable to do so, it is ill advised to stay in your home. Seek shelter with a neighbor who has panels in place, or evacuate the area
- Take in all lawn furniture, barbeques and potted plants. Don't forget hoses and sprinklers.
- Remove bulbs from flood lights, they become flying debris. Consider removing porch chandeliers and other fixtures which will just slam around and be destroyed.
- Place a 5 gallon bucket of water near each toilet. Water pressure will drop and you may not be able to flush toilets, particularly on the second floor. Clean and fill bathtubs 3/4 full of water for washing, and flushing.
- Put cars in garages whenever possible. Many people have been saved by getting into their cars inside a garage when the homes were substantially damaged. Of course, DO NOT RUN THE ENGINE inside a garage!
- PLEASE, Don't take chances. You are our neighbors and we care about you very much and want to see you safe after the storm as we put our property back into order.