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Preparing for Disasters

 

Do NOT decide to “ride out the storm”

If you have received warning that a hurricane is coming, evacuate immediately.

family leaving

Video your property and belongings

Be sure to capture the make, model and serial number of each piece where applicable. If your home is damaged or destroyed your insurance provider will ask you these questions before issuing a reimbursement.

Gather important documents

Bring your important papers with you and store them in a portable lock box. Important papers include: bank statements, tax returns, deeds, wills, living will, health care and legal powers of attorney, blueprints of your home, credit card statements, checkbooks, diplomas, birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, and insurance policies.

Travel light

Furniture and electronics can be replaced. Bring with you only items which can not be easily replaced like family pictures, videos and family heirlooms. Bring your laptop and back up desktop computers on an external hard drive. Store what you can on a higher floor in plastic containers. Bring three day’s worth of food and water with you.

loading car

 

Bring a supply of cash

Carry one month’s expenses with you in cash. Keep a portion of your cash in smaller bills. You may move to the front of the line if they need change and you have $100 in one dollar bills.

Keep your vehicles full of fuel

If the electricity is out at your home it is probably out at the gas station too. If you can bring extra gas cans safely, do so.

Store food and water for your return

Place the food you can’t carry with you in plastic containers on a higher floor. The stores may not be open after you return. Fill bathtubs, sinks and jugs with clean water. You will need one gallon of water per day per person.

family after storm

Prepare your yard

Trim large bushes and trees near your house. Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Bring all outside items such as furniture, toys, plants, decorations, trash cans, garden equipment and clotheslines inside so they don’t blow away and damage your home.

Cover windows

If you have time, use 5/8 inch plywood or custom shutters. Brace sliding glass doors.

Unplug electronics and major appliances

Power surges can cause damage to electronic appliances and potentially cause a fire. Unplug everything except your refrigerators, freezers and security lights on timers.

Make plans for your pets

Plan how to take care of your pets. Take your pets with you if you evacuate. Don’t forget to bring food and water for them as well. Larger animals in barns should have extra water and food available.

Keep a small disaster supplies kit in each vehicle

This is listed below.

go bag

Test alarm system

Test the fire and burglar alarm system before you leave. Make sure your battery backup is fully charged. Replace smoke detector batteries with new ones.

Turn off gas sources

Turn off exterior propane tanks and close shut-off valves. Extinguish the pilot lights on stoves and water heaters.

 If you must stay at home:

mother and daughter

Prepare a safe room

A safe room is a room with no windows like an interior hallway or closet. Stock it with flash-lights, radio, snacks, water, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, change of clothes, and cell phone.

Create a communications plan

Make a plan for family members to reunite if separated (if children are at school and adults are at work). Designate an out-of-state relative or friend as a contact person and make sure everybody in the family, including children, has their contact information such as home, work and cell phone numbers and email addresses.

Secure furniture

Take down pictures on the wall and loose items on bookshelves. Move furniture to the higher levels if your home is prone to flooding and pull larger furniture items away from windows.

Monitor the media

Keep a portable, battery-operated radio or television with extra batteries ready to go.

Plan escape routes

Find two ways out of each room in your home. Decide on a meeting point if you get separated from your family members. Each family member should have cash and contact informa-tion of other friends and family members away from the disaster zone.

Prepare a Disaster Kit

(Recommended by the American Red Cross.) Have enough disaster supplies for 2 weeks. Keep items in airtight plastic bags or contain-ers. Rotate or replace stored food and water every six months. Rethink your kit and family needs at least once per year. (Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.) Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

 go bag 3

Suggested disaster kit may include:

Food and drinking water (one gallon, per person, per day)

Water purification tablets or portable filter

Baby food, diapers, wipes and formula

Eating utensils Extra pet food Bleach

First aid kits

Change of clothes

Flashlights Batteries (of all types)

Charcoal and lighter fluid

Grills and camp stoves

Extra propane tank for grill

Butane lighters

Water proof matches

Lantern with extra fuel

Fire extinguishers

Non-electric clock

Cooler with ice

Duct and masking tape

Extension cords

Heavy plastic tarps

Manual can opener

Plastic trash bags

Sleeping bags and sheets

Soap, shampoo and wash cloth

Toilet paper and extra wet wipes

Sturdy boots and work gloves

Rope (100 feet in length minimum)

Tool kit including hammer, crowbar, nails, saw, pliers gloves, etc. Books, magazines and games for the children

Cash and credit cards

Camera Extra car and house keys

Important papers: birth and marriage certificates, passports, tax and bank statements, diplomas, deeds, wills, trusts, health care and legal powers of attorney, living wills, checkbooks, and insurance policies.

Pray

Psalm 91 is the Lord’s promise of protection for the believer. Pray this Psalm over your family, friends and property.

family praying

 

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