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Checklist: Hurricane Tips

As Jimmy Buffet once wrote this, “If you live in the area, you have to know how to reason with hurricane season.” Here are some tips:

Make sure that everyone is forewarned and is ready to move to shelter when necessary.

Have working flashlights with spare batteries on hand. Make sure everyone knows how to safely get to a flashlight if the power fails. Verify availability and location of candles and lanterns in case power outages last for an extended period.

If anyone in your household relies on electrical medical equipment such as an oxygen machine, arrange for backup power from a generator.

Set aside several gallons of drinking water in case water supplies are interrupted.

Make sure you have a battery-operated radio with good batteries so you can stay informed of developments even after the power is out.

If flooding is possible, move valued possessions to higher floors in the home.

Have extra buckets, trays and plastic sheeting on hand to deal with potential leaks caused by blowing water or wind damage.

Buy or make extra ice to preserve refrigerated and frozen foods if the power goes out for an extended period of time.

Unplug all electronic equipment that is plugged directly into the wall outlet. All electronic appliances, from a televisions to computers to microwave ovens, can be damaged or ruined by electrical surges associated with storms.

Make a quick survey of your trees. Note any dead trees or branches. If there is no time to have them taken down by a professional before the storm, make a note to avoid threatened parts of the house during the peak of the storm. Also make a note to have the trees trimmed after the storm.

Close storm shutters if you have them. Screw plywood sheets over unshuttered windows or crisscross the glass with masking tape. While the tape won’t reduce breakage much, it may prevent glass shards from becoming a lethal projectiles.

Tie down or move indoors all unanchored play equipment, trash cans, outdoor furniture, umbrellas, etc. Not only will you prevent the loss of these things, you’ll prevent them from becoming dangerous wind-borne projectiles.

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