11 October 2019

Ways to Prepare for Weather Emergencies

Many Florida residents are all too familiar with wild weather. A rainstorm, thunderstorm, or hurricane can pose a risk to both families and homes. A power outage or flood can greatly affect your power sources and food supply. Everyone should have a plan that will let them be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours. Being prepared not only has practical applications, it can take much of the worry out of an emergency.

Emergency Supplies

 Image via Flickr by Scott Woods-Fehr

Emergency kit items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control include flashlights and batteries, warm clothing, pain relievers, and matches. You might have to address a medical problem or injury yourself, as first aid responders may not be readily available. Therefore, other good items to include are bandages, cleansing agents, and prescription medication.

Other effective supplies include a generator, candles, and a whole-house surge protector, such as that recommended by Scott's One-Hour Air Conditioning and Heating. The latter prevents voltage spikes and protects household electronics.

Evacuation Plan

Prepare a “go bag” for when there's no time and immediate evacuation is critical. A portable kit could help you stay alive for several days. It should contain enough food and water for three days, as well as a flashlight and batteries, local maps, and a first aid kit. Also, try to keep your cellphones and electronics fully charged, as finding a power supply in a weather emergency may be difficult. Additionally, have a place to go. Make arrangements with friends and family, or move to a designated shelter.

Food Prep 

According to Current Results, Tampa, Fla., endures an average of 82 days of thunderstorms a year. That is a lot of potential power outages. Your fridge and freezer may stop working, resulting in food spoilage. If the food hasn't gone bad already, a fridge thermometer may help you determine what state your meats and vegetables are in. As mentioned, families should have a three-day supply of food and water. Dried goods, such as canned meat, peanut butter, and crackers, are great to have on hand. Ensure all food is stored in a high place where it can be kept dry and inaccessible to flooding. Consider preparing ice beforehand to help keep certain foods from spoiling.

Home Protection

A hurricane or flood can wreak havoc on your home. You may be able to save time and money by investing in a good home insurance policy, and possibly even one that covers flooding, according to AccuWeather. Structural protection is also important. If you plan on evacuating, make sure to secure all windows and doors to avoid interior damage and possibly a house collapse. Protect your items as well—seal all cracks, unplug appliances, roll up area rugs, and place as many items as you possible in high places where water cannot get. Also, don't forget to shut off you power and water lines before you leave.

The best way to face a weather emergency is to be prepared. Protect your home and your family by storing non-perishable foods, putting together a "go bag," and having a good evacuation plan.

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