By the time a storm watch or warning is issued for your area, the majority of your family’s emergency preparations should be completed.
Here are a few tips to help you complete those last minute details once a tropical storm or hurricane watch has been issued:
Check food, water, first aid, batteries, pet and other stored supplies to make sure they are fresh, adequate and ready to use.
✓ Start a “last-minute” shopping list for any items you may need and pick them up as soon as possible.
✓ Fill your car with gas; check oil, tires and other maintenance points.
✓ If you plan to evacuate, place items you’ll need in your car.
✓ Complete any laundry or other household chores to ensure your family will be more comfortable if you have to spend time at home without electricity.
✓ Pick up loose items around your property and store them until after the storm passes.
✓ Check the tools and supplies you’ll need to secure windows, doors and other storm vulnerable areas.
✓ Make sure your generator, if you plan to use one, is ready with gas, oil and a safe location for operation.
✓ Update your family’s emergency phone list if necessary.
✓ Contact your doctor, veterinarian, dentist or pharmacist to arrange for any extra prescriptions or other medications you need to have on hand.
✓ Once a hurricane “Warning” has been issued for Osceola County, check with your local government on their sandbag distribution policy and locations.
To prepare your family for a disaster situation follow these five steps.
- Gather information
- Share information with your family
- Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by a disaster
- Prepare your family and home
- Meet with your neighbors
Household Inventory Disaster Plan
A disaster strikes. Your home and possessions are destroyed. Will you be able to pick up the pieces? You will, if you:
- Keep an up-to-date household inventory.
- Keep this guide and other valuable documents in a secure location.
An inventory consists of:
- Description of each item (include model and serial numbers)
- When you bought it
- How much it costs
It is highly recommended to have photos or a video to accompany your inventory.
Do not forget less expensive items, such as towels and clothes. It will be costly to replace them entirely. Be thorough. Do not forget lawn furniture or tools in the garage. Keep the inventory up to date.
When it comes to hurricanes, we’re usually fortunate to have notice of the storm’s approach several days in advance. The smartest plan for those who live in the storm’s path is to make arrangements to evacuate the area early and safely, and to travel far enough to be sure you will be out of the at-risk area.
Knowing your evacuation routes should be part of your family’s evacuation plan! You can find the evacuation orders for Florida counties here. For those of us in Osceola County that usually means moving further inland or to the west. However, as we saw in 2004 with the approach of Hurricane Charley in the Gulf, there are times when the population may be evacuating to the east.