Preparing For Hurricane Matthew
Preparing For Hurricane MatthewPreparing For Hurricane Matthew

Preparing For Hurricane Matthew

With hurricane Matthew already affecting the Caribbean, The worst thing that people who live along coastlines can do is not be prepared in advance. According to the National Hurricane Center, the two key factors contributing to weather safety during hurricanes are preparing in advance for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials. Here are precautionary steps that people in areas that could be affected by hurricane Matthew should take.

1. Check your food and water supply – Buy bottled water and dry packaged non-perishable foods in case your power goes out, and your food spoils. You do not want to be stuck in a storm, in the dark, with nothing to eat or drink.

2. Have as much ice available as possible – In the event that the power goes out for an extended period of time, make sure that you have made as much ice as possible in order to keep your food cool and frozen. If the power does go out, place all perishable foods in the freezer to make them last longer. Having a large cooler around could also be helpful.

3. Have cash on hand – Credit and debit cards are useless when there isn’t any power. ATMs don’t work, and you won’t be able to buy anything at the store. Make a trip to the ATM before the storm. Make purchases beforehand as well, since most businesses will be closed.

4. Make sure that your cellphone is charged – Whenever there is a threat of a power outage always make sure that your phone is charged in an emergency. Have a car charger handy as well. TIP – Even if the power goes out, land lines will still sometimes work. Phone lines run on their own electricity, as long as they are not cordless phones. You can check this beforehand by unplugging the electricity to you phone and testing it out.

5. If you have a generator, check it beforehand – Make sure you have fuel to power it on. Also, if there has been gasoline in a generator for a long time (more than a month) you may need to replace it completely or risk clogging the fuel filters and lines.

6. Reinforce your entryways – Strong wind and floating debris can easily break windows, leaving you with a face full of glass and soaking wet. Make sure you reinforce doors, windows, garage doors, skylights, and fireplace flues. At least close the curtains or blinds, but if you can, reinforce the windows with plywood. It’s cheap and easy to cut.

7. Check your flashlights – Make sure they all work, and if they don’t, go stock up on batteries. Also, gather any candles, matches, and lighters that you have. Also, A BATTERY POWERED RADIO could end up saving your life in the event of a flash flood.

8. Have your stuff ready to go – If for whatever reason you need to leave in a hurry, make sure you’re prepared. Place all your important things in or around one bag. Wallet, cash, cell phone and charger, car keys, important documents and phone numbers, MEDICATIONS, first aid kit, a roadmap to your destination, etc. Keep these sealed in a leak proof bag or at least a zip lock. Make sure you know where you’re headed, take you pets with you, and always make sure your car gassed up and ready to go if need be.

9. Unplug and move electronics – With hurricanes and heavy rains comes lighting and flooding. Power surges can occur which can damage electronics such as computers (and cause data loss) and TVs. Make sure these are unplugged, and if possible, moved to the highest point in your house in case of flooding. You can also move other items that can get damaged in water, important papers, pictures, or furniture. You can never be too prepared.

10. Prepare your family – Make sure each family member is aware of how dangerous a hurricane can be. If in the event your family needs to evacuate, you don’t want anyone left behind or uninformed. Keep cell phones on and stay home with your family.

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