How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Preparing for a Hurricane

Who would have thought we would have an earthquake and then a hurricane in the NorthEast in the same week! Although we have had hurricanes here in NJ, they have been small and mild in comparison to what other parts of the country have experienced.  Since Hurricane Irene seems to be headed directly to the Tri-State area, we all need to be prepared for the worst.  So I have compiled some of the important ways to prepare for a hurricane.

Steps to Protect your family in a Hurricane

Step 1: Build an Emergency Kit / “To-Go Bag”

Emergency kit:

  • water – 3 day supply (1 gallon per person per day)
  • food – 3 day supply of non-perishable (shouldn’t be a problem for us couponers!)
  • flashlight
  • batter-powered radio
  • extra batteries
  • first aid kit
  • medications (7 day supply) and medical items
  • multi-purpose tool
  • sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • copies of personal documents
  • cell phone with chargers (have them fully charged)
  • family and emergency contact information
  • extra cash
  • emergency blanket
  • map of the area
  • baby supplies
  • pet supplies
  • car keys and house keys
  • extra clothes
  • rain gear

Step 2: Make a Plan

Evacuation Plan:
  • Plan Places where your family will meet
  • keep a half a tank of gas
  • become familiar with alternate routes
  • lock your door
  • take your pets with you
  • let someone know of your plan who is out of state
  • Family Emergency Plan

Step 3: Be Informed

During a Hurricane:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information
  • Secure your home
  • turn of utilities if instructed to do so or turn refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting
  • avoid using phone
  • evacuate if told to do so or if you feel as if you are in danger
  • stay away from windows and glass doors
  • close all interior doors
  • keep curtains and blinds closed
  • take refuge in a small interior room if necessary
  • lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object if necessary
What to do after a Hurricane:
  • Listen to the NOAA weather radio
  • stay alert for extended rain fall and flooding
  • if you evacuated, return only when it is safe
  • drive only if necessary
  • keep away from loose or dangling power lines
  • stay out of buildings with water around them
  • inspect home for damage
  • use flashlights in the dark, not candles
  • wear protective clothes
  • use phone for emergency calls only

Locate a Diaster Recovery Center
Inform your Kids: FEMA Ready Kids
Get updates from the National Weather Service
Hurricane Safety Checklist from the Red Cross

2 Great Resources are:
American Red Cross

The links in the post above may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.
  • Kierstin

    Is it bad that while my husband is stressing out about flooding & our house blowing away, I’m worrying about how I’m going to get my papers? LoL

    • Vera

      LOLOLOLOL!!!!! ME TOO!!!

      • emily

        haha, same…. its kind of bad. if i can head out early in the morning before the rain starts, i might

      • I thought the same thing! Three inserts this week, I have to get my papers!

    • So funny… I was thinking the same thing. I was thinking of just buying the inserts online. Of course the hurricane has to come on a Sunday with 3 inserts.

      • Anonymous

        omgggg i didn’t even think of that! crap!

  • regina

    LOL Kierstin! same here! DH is flying to Vegas tonight and Im alone w/ the kids….thinking to myself, ugh, i gotta bring them out in a “hurricane” (im sure it wont be that bad once it reaches maine, but still) to get my papers! ahh!

  • hahahaha…. me too..

  • hanna

    This was our conversation last night.

    me: Is it comming early in the morning or later in the morning?
    Hubby: What is?
    me: Hurricane!
    Hubby: Oh, I don’t know but not early I thought.
    me: Good! you can go get them for me.
    Hubby: What??
    me: Coupons, I mean papers!

  • kristen

    Just came to comment…also worried about how I’m going to get my papers LOL. I think im going to head out around 3AM sunday morning to the gas station.

  • There is also a chance you may lose your water service during a hurricane. It is suggested you fill a bath tub or buckets with water so you can flush your toilet…

    I am also setting up a lot of electricity free activities for the kiddies …

  • Melissa S

    Thanks for the tips! Question: I have always wondered why they tell you too close curtains in a hurricane. What is the point of that?

    • Kierstin

      I think it’s because if the window does break, the curtains/blinds will prevent the glass from flying everywhere.

  • Tammy

    Another good tip, we learned this during Hurricaine Gloria all those years ago, fill your bathtub with water so you can flush your toilet if the power goes out!

    • Christina

      That is a great tip! Thank you. That is so much easier then filling buckets!

    • jen

      How does the power going out affect water and toilet flushing?

      • Mary

        I live in a rural area with a well–not a city water system–so when the power goes out my well pump doesn’t work. I’m not sure if that’s what others are referring to.

  • su

    I hope everyone stays safe. This is great Cindy–r u in an evacuated area? I’m in MD and filling pitchers w/water in case we lose power.

    Also, I’m w/ya’ll regarding the coupons and the timing of the hurricane. A week w/only one insert would be much better :0) haha

    • tara

      would they sell it on monday, if it doesn’t sell sunday???

  • WH

    Thanks Cindy and stay safe!

  • Kim

    Hopefully it will not be bad for those on the NE however the one addition I would make to this list is ICE! I’m in the south and we get hurricanes and trpical storms more than I would care for so the one thing that will make the after math just a little more bearable is ice. TRUST ME…no lights AND 90+ degree weather…no bueno.

  • Erin McDermid

    Don’t forget to put away your outdoor furniture!!!

  • Anonymous

    not sure if I’m doing this right because I’ve only just started coupling .. I buy the Daily News every Sunday and only 2 Sunday’s had red plum inserts. Am I buying the wrong paper? What should I buy?

  • Lovingmynewhobby

    Thank goodness for Cindy..just started couponing a few months ago..and if i wouldnt have come upon her site…i would have been running out right now having to pay full price for all my familys necessities but thankfully…i have had just about everything on the list for a few months now…i love feeling prepared..its a nice way to feel a little safer in circumstances like this..thanks again Cindy…you rock!

  • Mary

    I’m really worried about losing power and the thousands of dollars of groceries I have in the fridge and freezer going to waste 🙁 ugh!

    • hanna

      Mary, do you have icepack? Super market or drugstore sells them for camping, etc.
      If you can get some now, go get them and leave then in freezer. Keep making ice and leave them full if you can.
      Any meat you would eat 3 days from Sunday, if you could, cook them on Sat.
      Cooked meat could stay longer than uncooked ones.
      Meat could be seasoned and that’s also could stay longer.

      If you could have even small generator, it would be a great help to run the fridge and freezer. Keep additional gas for generator as well.

    • Robin

      If you lose your power you can get dry ice to keep the food cold. Just go get it before everyone else thinks of it!!! LOL

  • DianeG

    gee – I never thought about the inserts! – ‘too busy doing other things to prepare since I have a frail elder at home here in NJ and possibly four other elders coming here from the shore – eeekkkkkk!

    Here’s a couple other thoughts on preparation –
    – If you have a pet that tends to hide in bad weather or is very anxious, you may want to crate them before the storm hits.
    – Have these available – heavy work gloves, fresh duct tape, plastic contractor bags, tarps, wet ones (yeah – we got a deal on those not too long ago!)
    – make lots of ice now and bag it – if power goes out – you can just pull those bags out quickly into the cooler you have ready
    – be sure your freezer is full, if not fill jugs 7/8ths full of water and freeze, more mass stays colder longer in case we lose power.

    How to stay in touch after the storm/evacuation- From the Red Cross website
    It’s important that those affected by the storm stay in contact with loved ones and the Red Cross Safe and Well website can help them do that. Safe and Well is a secure, easy-to-use online tool to help families connect in an emergency. People can register by visiting the Red Cross web site or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

  • cheryl manna

    Thanks to you site Cindy, we are OVERSTOCKED with food. Flooding is the threat we will be facing in our general area, though I do have family and property at the Jersey shore. Praying that everybody stays safe and comes out of this unscathed.

  • su

    If needed, your kids can wear their bike helmets for any safety type situations.

  • Kathy

    Thanks to a cvs deal the other day, I have 15 cases of water. Never in my wildest dream was I thinking of prepping for an earthquake and hurricane the same week! Have a safe weekend all!!