It is about that time of year again - time for your hurricane preparations to swing into full gear.
If you didn’t check them already, now is the time to check your 72 hour kits or go-bags. Make sure you replace items which have expired. Check and/or change your batteries. Update clothing sizes if you have growing children. Be sure to replace any items which you have “borrowed” and add any items you forgot. If you have had a change in health status, now is the time to make sure you have prescriptions and any portable medical equipment ready to go. If you added a family pet this year, take some time to make sure you have necessary items for your animal in the event of an evacuation or a stay without services.
Prepare any tools needed for utility shut-off and make sure you remember how to shut off or disconnect utilities and appliances. Ensure that all family members know the location of your 72 hour kits or go-bags. What happens if you are not at home in the event of an emergency? Do you have an evacuation plan in the event of a fire? Or do you have a planned meeting place in the event you are separated during a natural disaster? Set time aside, maybe the first Monday of each month, to review AND PRACTICE your disaster/evacuation plans with your family.
If you have a folder or binder that you use for financial information consider adding an Information Station. This is a “must have” if you have children or any family member with medical needs. It should be updated regularly with weight, medication changes and correct emergency contact phone numbers. In addition to keeping one in your evacuation kit, keep one posted on the refrigerator or near the phone. You never know when a babysitter may need the information. I have provided an example, but customize yours based on individual needs. For those with medical needs consider adding sections where you list each doctor, phone number and specialty, current medications including dosage instructions, AND actual diagnoses.
It is never too early to start getting prepared! Now that I am getting back in the swing of things, I should have blog updates the first part of each month. I’d love to take your topic requests. Let me know if you’d like me to address a particular preparedness topic like calculating food storage, preparation of financial documents or something fun like Dutch oven cooking!