Whether you live in the north and worry about being inundated with heaps of snow in the winter, or live near the coast where hurricanes and rainstorms are more common, it is essential that you have a storm preparedness plan in place. For the safety of you and your family, you’ll thank yourself for having the right tools on hand when disaster strikes. Don’t put it off! It could be a thunderstorm that puts the power out for a couple hours, or a flood that washes away the neighborhood. Take these tips from the National Hurricane Center, and be prepared for whatever comes your way:
1. Make a plan.
Make a disaster plan with your family. You won’t all necessarily be together at home when a storm strikes. Make sure everyone knows how you’ll all get in touch with one another, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do.
2. Stay informed.
Be aware of the specific risks in your area. Chances are, you live somewhere that is particularly prone to hurricanes, flooding, snow storms, high winds, storm surges, or at least good ol’ fashioned thunderstorms. You can tailor your emergency plan to the types of disasters that you are most likely to experience. And stay abreast of the latest weather warnings and seasonal risks.
Have an emergency supply kit on hand, including flashlights with batteries, a crank radio, non-perishable foods, water, candles, and other essentials. Consider all the possibilities – what if the electricity or gas are turned off? What if your water is turned off? What if you are unable to get to a grocery store? What if roads are washed out and you are unable to drive? If you plan for even the most remote possibilities, you’ll thank yourself later.
One of the most important things to plan for is what you’ll do when the electricity goes out. Even a common thunderstorm can knock out your electricity pretty easily, so it is important to know how you’ll cope when the lights go out. Think about all the things that rely on electricity — refrigerator, internet, lights, telephones, electric cooking appliances (even gas stoves need electricity to spark the flame), air conditioners and heaters (even propane or natural gas furnaces rely on electricity to some extent), water pumps, medical equipment, and even your electric toothbrush.
The best way to be prepared for a power outage is to have a generator on hand. Whether you choose a permanent standby generator for full peace of mind, or a portable generator to pull out just when you need it, keeping the electricity pumping keeps life moving. Learn more about how many watts your home will need here.