|ISS Photo of Cyclone Katarina|
Keep a First-Aid Kit
Whether you plan to stay at home or to evacuate, you should keep a first-aid kit with you. (Pack it in the trunk of your car ahead of time, if you know you plan to leave in the event of a hurricane.) Even the smallest wounds should be cared for in an emergency to prevent infection. The last thing you want is a small scrape turning into a medical emergency when medical aid may not be easy to obtain.
The bare essentials for a first aid kit:
- Bandages of all sizes
- Medical tape
- Antibacterial ointment
- Hand sanitizer
- Ace bandage
- Over the counter pain reliever/fever reducer
Keep a Hurricane Kit
A hurricane safety kit should include items that will keep you warm, protected from the sun, fed, watered and clothed for a minimum of three days. If you are evacuating in the event of a hurricane, you may want to keep this kit packed up and ready to be placed in your car at a moment's notice. If you plan to stay home, keep the kit in waterproof containers in your home. You never know if you will be forced out of your home by damage during a hurricane. You want to have those essentials ready and dry.
A hurricane kit should include, at minimum:
- A change of socks and underwear for each person
- Flashlights, small battery-operated radio and extra batteries (packed in watertight plastic)
- A necklace whistle (for drawing the attention of rescue workers)
- At least one blanket per person (Pillows are a luxury. Only pack them if you have the room or you can carry them.)
- One towel per person packed in watertight plastic
- Waterproof strike anywhere matches
- Baby wipes (helps keep you sanitary when shower facilities are scarce)
- Enough water for at least three days (one gallon per day, per person)
Meal replacement bars, trail mix, peanut butter and crackers, canned meat, beef jerky, canned vegetables, canned fruit and anything else that keeps for long without refrigeration. Be sure to bring plastic eating utensils, plates and cups.
Be Ready When a Hurricane Warning is Issued
You want to have your kits ready long before a warning is issued. This way, you miss the rush to the grocery stores. In addition, you want to make sure your gas tank is full in case you have to leave. If you have a shelter, hotel or other safe place out of the area in mind, leave as soon as possible so you beat the evacuation traffic. You cannot do this if you are not prepared before the warning. Make sure to gather all of the family's essential medications when a hurricane is expected as well. You can bring them with you to the shelter.
If You're Staying Home, Make Sure Your Home is Safe
It is possible to be injured inside your home during a hurricane, even if your home is sturdy. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are as safe as possible inside your house during a hurricane, if you decide to stay. Of course, in the event of a strong hurricane, your best choice is to evacuate.
Board up your windows and doors. This is to prevent breaking windows and doors from flying through your house and hurting you. Make sure all of the things you need and you are in areas of the house that are as far from trees as possible. Shut off the gas lines in your house in case something breaks.
It is important to remember that no matter how much you prepare, a strong enough hurricane can render your preparation useless. Therefore, your safest option is to evacuate while evacuation is still possible. Even if you do evacuate, do not forget your kit.