Be Prepared, not Scared
Storm Preparedness – be safe, be prepared. There are 5 smart things to do ahead of a storm to help protect yourself and your family. Acting in advance of the storm’s arrival will help you feel more safe and secure before, during and after any storm or disaster.
1. Be Ready with the Right Food and Sufficient Supply of Water
Storm preparedness includes a supply of food, specifically items that require little or no water to prepare, no refrigeration, and no preparation or cooking prior to consumption; and water the equivalent to 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 5 days. With this advance planning ahead of a storm an emergency can be an inconvenience, not a disaster.
2. Create an Emergency Plan
Creating an emergency plan for you and your family ahead of a storm, particularly if you live in a flood zone, will help you stay organized if a storm or hurricane strikes.
Your emergency plan should include a communication system, disaster supply kit, and an alternate meeting place if your home is unsafe. If evacuation is necessary, it is recommended that you seek refuge with a friend or family member located away from the affected area.
3. Prepare Your Home and Yard Ahead of a Storm
In advance of the storm prepare your home and yard to minimize damage.
- taking digital photos of your basement, roof, house exterior, etc., in case damage/flooding from the storm occurs – you will have some “before” and “after” photos on hand to aid with insurance issues. Remember, even homes that normally stay dry may experience water intrusion due to prolonged heavy rain activity, high winds and rising water.
- if you have large windows that may be cause for concern, you may want to consider planking them.
- take in/tie down lawn furniture chairs, turn lawn tables upside down, take down lawn umbrellas. These preventive actions will help minimize damage both to the outdoor items as well as any mishap that may occur to nearby pools/landscape if lawn furniture/umbrellas are blown about.
- portable grills should be secured/moved into a shed or garage.
- take in flower pots that may not be sturdy enough to remain steady in severe wind. Secure/bring in lawn cushions. Secure children’s toys, pet houses, etc.
4. Prepare Emergency Go-Kits
Plan and Assemble Emergency Go-Kits for Your Family and Your Pets before You Need Them
What you have on hand when a hurricane hits can make a big difference how well your family handles it. In the event of a hurricane WATCH or WARNING, consider putting these items into a smaller, portable Go-Kit – such as a hands-free backpack or duffel bag – in case you need to evacuate. Keep it by your front door or an exit in case of an emergency evacuation. Each person should have a Go-Kit.
Your family disaster preparedness kits should include:
- First aid kit. Pack a “how to” guide as well.
- Essential prescription, nonprescription items & medical information.
- Battery-powered flashlight and radio, extra batteries and a 12-hour glow stick.
- A change of clothes, plus rainwear, sturdy shoes and protective gloves for everyone.
- Personal items. Eye glasses, personal care items, & comfort items.
- Important document copies in a waterproof container:
Birth and marriage certificates
Proof of residence (deed or lease)
Recent tax returns
Credit card & bank account numbers
Social Security cards
Home inventory list
- Items for infants, elderly, pets or loved ones with special needs
Your pet disaster preparedness kits should include:
- Your pets’ names
- Your name, address, phone and cell number
- Emergency contact – friend or family
- Your veterinarian’s name and contact information
- Medical records and medications
- Specific care instructions and behavioral problems
- First aid kit
- Current photos
- Sturdy leash with collar or harness
- Muzzles, if necessary
- Paper towels for clean-up
- Food (3 days supply) & manual can opener
- Bottled water and water purification tablets
- Bowls, toys and other comfort items
- Treats, brushes, combs
- Newspapers and plastic trash bags for handling waste
Also have on hand, ready to go:
- Secure carriers large enough for your pets to stand
comfortably, turn around and lie down
- Towels or blankets for bedding and warmth
- Cat litter and litter box
5. Information Resource List at the Ready
Prepare a list of websites you can visit for pertinent information that will help you be prepared and safe. Visit the websites ahead of time for tips, strategies, and important information lifeline links so you already know where you intend to go for the information you may need. Have the links ready so you do not waste time accessing them. Listed below are several you may find helpful.
For Updates on Upcoming Weather:
To find a shelter near you, text SHELTER and your zip code to #43362 (4FEMA).
American Red Cross, www.nyredcross.org
To report power outages or downed power lines:
PSEG Long Island Hotline: (800) 490-0075
Information on mass transit service:
MTA/LIRR online: www.mta.info
American Red Cross of Greater New York Region or (631) 924-6700
American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Tips
Click here for a list of what to place in a disaster supplies or “GO KIT” from the American Red Cross
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Health and Welfare Council of Long Island
ASPCA’s Disaster Preparedness for Pets
National Department of Homeland Security
Federal Government’s READY.GOV