If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes then you know the season is now upon us. Hurricanes are nothing to joke about and it is crucial that your family is prepared should one hit your town! If hurricane Sandy taught us anything it should be how important it is to have a disaster plan. You do not want to be in stores fighting over supplies when a hurricane is about to hit. However, preparing your family for a potential hurricane when you are already living on a tight budget is extremely difficult. I’ve created ten ways that can help you start getting prepared.
10 Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane
1. Keep Extra Food & Water On Hand – Throughout the year make it a point to store extra non-perishable food. If possible add 5 dollars to your grocery budget every week. Adding just $5 to your budget will allow you to pick up water, canned food and any other food items that have a long shelf life. If you use coupons make sure to take advantage of items you can get for free or almost free.
2. Check Your Prescriptions – If you are a family member is currently taking any kind of prescription medicine make sure you always have at least a two-week supply. Having a two-week supply is especially important during hurricane season. You should also keep a list of all prescriptions you or a family member are taking along with the dosage.
3. Protect Your Home – Keep 3/4 inch outdoor plywood boards on hand. These boards do not cost much and are very easy to store in your garage or shed. You will use these plywood boards should have you have to board up the windows. It is also encouraged to have hurricane straps on hand should you need additional support keeping the roof attached to the walls of the home. These items are all affordable if you prepare in advance. Trying to purchase plywood or hurricane straps when a hurricane is about to hit, will make the prices go through the roof!
4. Gather Important Documents – Make sure to keep all important documents in one location. You should keep birth certificates, home insurance policy, passports, social security cards, shot records and a recent photo of every family member in one central location. You should be able to gather these documents quickly if you need to evacuate. Having these documents on hand will come in handy should you have to file a claim with your home owners insurance or need Red Cross for assistance.
5. Have Lighting – You can purchase flashlights and candles at the Dollar Store, Target or even on Amazon for just a few bucks. Make sure you have plenty of lighting should you lose power. You will want to have at least two flashlights per family member. Amazon has a large selection of quality flashlights for under $10
6. Stock Up On Batteries – While flashlights and hand-held radios are important they won’t do you much good without batteries. Stock up on batteries as often as your budget allows. Make sure to select all different sizes! You can purchase every size battery you could possibly need right on Amazon.
7. Have An Evacuation Plan – Should your family need to evacuate, you don’t want to do it under stress. Establish an evacuation plan long before a hurricane ever comes your way. You should have three different exit routes if possible. When mass amounts of people are trying to evacuate the roads will get very congested. Having more than one way to evacuate your home could be a huge time-saver. Make sure the whole family is aware of what the plan is.
8. Get A Generator – A generator is not the most affordable item but they do come in handy! Once a hurricane hits the prices of generators almost double in some locations. Start budgeting for a generator now so that you don’t get hit with the high costs when you need it most. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a generator that will run your entire home. Pick out a generator that is big enough to run the refrigerator, charge your phones, listen to the radio and any other small utilities. Amazon has a very large selection of generators, some starting as low as $199.
9. Have An Emergency Supply Kit – You will want to have an emergency supply kit for each family member in your home. You will use this kit should you have to shelter in place or evacuate. In this kit there are some crucial items you should start stocking up on.
-Personal Hygiene Items
-Flashlight and batteries
Most of these items you will already have in your home. Any items you don’t have you should be able to stock up on at your local Dollar Store.
10. Do A Home Inventory – Before the start of every hurricane season do a complete home inventory. You will want to write down anything of value. You should also take video or pictures of these items. Should you have to file a claim, the more evidence you have the easier it will be!
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