Tampa Bay dodged a bullet this weekend with it’s near miss by Hurricane Irene. But, as most Floridians realize, sooner or later, Mother Nature will set it’s sights on the “Sunshine State”, once again, and when that happens, will they be prepared?
The last time southern Florida was hit by a major hurricane was back in August 2004, with Hurricane Charley. With maximum winds of 150 mph, Charley cost Florida over 13 billion in damages and caused a total of 10 deaths, nationwide.
Since then, many Floridians have become complacent about the possibility of a direct hit and, perhaps, not as diligent as they need to be during a brisk and active hurricane season.
So, the question becomes, how prepared are we? Using the checklist below, you determine whether you’re prepared for a hurricane or not.
Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils
Blankets / Pillows, etc.
Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
Special Items – for babies and the elderly
Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
Flashlight / Batteries
Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
Toys, Books and Games
Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
Vehicle fuel tanks filled
Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash
So, how many can you check off?
The above list is only the first part of being prepared; these are the things you should have in case of a hurricane.
For a list of what you should “DO” in case of a hurricane, check back for part two of this article.
But, above all, and most important … stay safe.
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And, as always, I look forward to your thoughts, ideas and comments.