How to prepare your family for a hurricane

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With Hurricane Irma bearing down, and the middle of hurricane season upon the coastal region, it’s a good time to make sure your family has everything they need in case of an emergency.

Among the first things you should do to prepare your family for a hurricane is create an emergency plan.

According to Ready.gov, your plan should include evacuation routes, shelter plans and specific needs for anyone in your home (medications, dietary needs, children, etc.), among other things.

You should also create emergency kits for your family.

According to the Chatham Emergency Management Agency, there are several ways to create an emergency kit, but each kit should be specific to you and your family’s needs.

Here are three examples of kits that you can make:

  1. Shelter-in-Place Kit: When riding out a storm in your home, you will need to ensure that you have the supplies you need to remain comfortable. Power outages are a strong possibility during tropical storms and tornadoes, so keeping a small kit with essential supplies is a great way to be prepared. Your Shelter-in-Place kit should have enough non-perishable food items and water for 3-5 days, comfort objects, medical supplies, medication and other items that you use regularly. We suggest that you keep this kit in the bottom level of your home in an interior room with no windows as you can easily utilize this kit during many severe weather emergencies including tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms.
  2. Evacuation Kit: An Evacuation Kit will have similar items to a Shelter-in-Place kit, but should include a larger quantity. For example, an Evacuation Kit should have enough non-perishable food and water for at least 5-7 days. In addition, you will want to include a change of clothes for everyone in the family as well as essential toiletry items and all required medications. Consider adding several comfort objects and toys for children and animals as the change in their routine may be difficult to understand. Lastly, ensure that you have copies of all important documents including, but not limited to, birth certificates, social security cards, medical documents, and monthly expense information.
  3. Pet Supplies Kit: A pet’s kit should include enough food and water for at least 5 days, all pet medications (or prescriptions for an evacuation kit), a carrier for each pet with blankets, a copy of your pets most recent vet records and a current photo of your pet in case you all get separated. For more information on what to include in a kit and a list of hotels in Georgia that accept pets, visit The Humane Society of Savannah webpage.

Here’s a list of some of the items your emergency supply kit should include to help keep you safe, according to Ready.gov:

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery – powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

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