Here are some tips on how to keep yourself, your kids and your pets safe during a storm.
Hurricane season 2021: What do you put in your first-aid kit?
Stock your first-aid kit with these items and store it in a waterproof container:
• First-aid manual.
• Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes.
• Sterile gauze pads and roller bandages in a variety of sizes.
• Hypoallergenic adhesive tape.
• Scissors and tweezers.
• Needle, for sewing and removing splinters.
• Bars of soap in their own plastic bags or waterproof containers.
• Moist towelettes.
• Antiseptic spray.
• Hydrogen peroxide.
• Rubbing alcohol.
• Petroleum jelly to relieve itching.
• Ointments for burns and cuts.
• Latex gloves.
• Aspirin, acetaminophen and antacid tablets.
• Ointments for babies’ teething
Hurricane season 2021: How do you prep food in a hurricane?
As hurricane season draws near, it’s time to check and double check your food and water supplies.
Keep the following in mind:
Hurricane food prep by the numbers
– 1 gallon water per person per day (don’t forget pets!). Don’t forget - Your tap water is still safe to drink, it’s only dicey after a power outage. Fill clean pitchers and water bottles now. Also, you can fill freezer bags with water and freeze them ahead of time. Just let them thaw in a water pitcher for clean drinking water.
– 3-7 days worth of food for each person (again - don’t forget pets! Cat parents - grab extra kitty litter).
Hurricane food safety by the numbers
– 4 hours: the amount of time a refrigerator will keep food cold.
– 24 hours: the amount of time a half-full freezer will hold its temperature.
– 48 hours: the amount of time a full freezer will hold its temperature.
– 40 degrees and below: the temperature a freezer item should still be at to be refrozen. If it still has ice crystals, it’s also safe.
A few more food safety tips
– Don’t taste a food to determine if it’s gone bad. If you’re unsure of it, throw it out.
– Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
Food items to store
– Tough-skinned fruits and vegetables: Citrus, carrots, apples, avocados, etc. Wash and dry them before the storm.
– Protein rich foods: Peanut butter, protein bars, unsalted nuts, trail mix, beans, etc.
– Smoked or dried meats and hard cheeses. (Nonperishable and goes well with a glass of wine!)
– Instant drinks: Shelf-stable milk, instant coffee and tea.
– Comfort foods: Cookies, hard candy, chips, crackers etc.
– Canned items: Meats, fruits (in juice), vegetables, soups, stews and chilis
– Condiments: You’re going to need them to spice up those canned vegetables! Snag some hot sauces, mustard, oil, and vinegar.
Gather and clean cooking tools
A manual can opener, appliance thermometer, pans or sheets that can be used on a grill, oven mitts, matches, cooking tools, grill fuel, moist towelettes, paper towels, gel fuel such as Sterno, a grill light or flashlight designated for cooking, pet food, paper plates and plastic utensils.
Post-storm grilling tips
– Never use a grill inside a house.
– Make sure your grill is a few feet from your home and far away from awning overhangs, plants, etc. Never leave it unattended - especially around small children or pets.
– Use only approved accelerant fuels for charcoal fires - NOT gasoline.
– Charcoal briquettes need about 48 hours to cool before they’re thrown out. Soak the charcoal in water before tossing.
Hurricane season 2021: What do you do with your kids during a hurricane?
To cut down on your child’s anxiety, not to mention the cries of “I’m bored,” we’ve compiled a list of things to prepare them for a hurricane and to keep them entertained.
Tell your children that a hurricane is a giant, rainy windstorm that requires a lot of preparation and precaution.
The more children know about the storm and safety procedures, the more confident they will be. But keep it simple; detailed information is useless if children can’t digest it.
Younger children may have trouble understanding the idea of a hurricane. Talk to them instead about its effects and that it could leave them without electricity.
Using a map, help older children name the states and cities where hurricanes are likely to strike. Have them mark where you live in the hurricane zone.
Ask children, whatever their age, to make a list of what they do during a typical day. Explain to them that those activities might change if a hurricane hits: School might close; they may not get to play outside; they may have to eat different foods.
Involve kids in preparations
It’s important for children to feel they are a part of the preparations. Allow children to help plan and pack safety kits, help check hurricane shutters and make preparations for their pets.
Children should be reminded of their hurricane lessons throughout the year; a crash course in hurricanes only hours before one arrives may cause them to panic.
Have them pack a supply kit
As a part of the preparation process, your child can pack a supply kit equipped with all the soothing items they might take on an overnight stay at grandma’s.
Give them a checklist of things to gather. Some suggestions: games, toys, blankets, stuffed animals, favorite books, favorite snacks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, rain gear, paper and pencils, coloring books, a flashlight.
Plan fun activities
Card games. Games and puzzles are a good way to pass the time. As preparation for the storm, research new card games on the internet and print directions. Gather the family and learn the rules together.
Build a fort. Pillows. Check. Blankets. Check. Sofa cushions. Check. Dining room chairs. Check. Hours of fun. Check.
Play flashlight tag. Stock up on as many batteries as you can find before the storm. Flashlight tag is an oldie but goodie and will have parents giggling like schoolgirls along with their kids.
Some variations to try: Leave the flashlights on and allow the hiding players to change positions as they see the “It” person approaching. Players also can be put in “jail,” where they can be rescued.
Tell a local ghost story. There’s no better time to swap scary stories than when the wind is howling and candles are flickering.
Conduct a scavenger hunt. With or without a flashlight, searching the house for treasure can keep kids (and parents) busy for hours. And it’s so much more fun to bump around in the dark to find that long lost doll or forgotten box of toy cars.
Some variations to try: Hide pieces of a puzzle around the house (be sure to keep count). When you’ve found all of the pieces, you have another project to work on. You can also use your digital camera as part of the fun. Take a picture of something — make sure it is cropped closely and isn’t too easily identifiable — and ask the other players to find it.
Cook with them. Choose meals that are easy to prepare and let your kids help cook. No power? Get the fireplace or grill going and everyone can cook their own hot dogs on a stick. Don’t forget the s’mores for dessert.
Devour the ice cream. There’s no better excuse than a dead freezer to demolish your ice cream supply. Since the best way to conserve your freezer’s chill is to keep the door closed, have someone time your mad dash for sugar.
Make the door opening excursion count by making a list before the storm of all the freezer items you should eat. A few frozen peas on top of that sundae might make for an interesting round of Truth or Dare.
Talk to your kids
Before, during and after the storm, it’s important to talk to your children, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Encourage them to ask questions and express concerns. Reassure them that they are safe, stay upbeat, keep them busy and maintain regular family routines.
Children are influenced by the adults around them, so remaining calm and staying aware of adult conversations about the hurricane’s aftermath will help your child weather any storm.
Hurricane season 2021: How do you keep your pets safe?
To keep your pet safe in a hurricane, you have the following options: keep the animal inside if you stay home; bring it along if you evacuate; leave it with someone trustworthy or board it at a reputable kennel.
If you plan to stay at a pet-friendly shelter, make sure to pre-register well ahead of time.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your pet behind.
If you stay home
Make sure all pets are wearing ID tags with your current contact information.
Keep your pets inside before, during and after the storm and make them as comfortable as possible.
A portable pet emergency kit should include water, water bowls, pet food, medical records and medications.
Bring along a collar with identification, a favorite towel or blanket and a two-week supply of water and food.
Call hotels on your route to confirm they take pets.
Register with a pet-friendly shelter well in advance of the storm. Be prepared to show proof you live in a mandatory evacuation zone or mobile home in the county.
Pet-friendly shelters do not accept exotic pets like reptiles or livestock. Pets must be current on their vaccinations and be registered with the county.
Use your best judgment and remove large animals from the area if their lives are in danger.
Recommended items for your pet survival kit include:
– A crate or carrier large enough for the animal to stand and turn around in
– Leashes and collars
– Water and food
– Emergency phone numbers for veterinarian, animal shelters and friends/relatives
– Veterinary records with rabies certificate
– Cleaning supplies. Remember, your dog will not be able to go outside during the storm.
– A photo of you and your pet together (to help prove the pet is yours), and one with the pet by itself, showing any distinguishing marks that will help with identification.
Hurricane Season: Home, Family and Financial Planning Tips
Hurricane season is here. Preparing early while you have the time can save you the stress of having to panic when a storm is right around the corner. The need for preparation couldn’t be clearer in the wake of the gasoline panic buying we’ve just witnessed after the recent pipeline hack, and who could forget the run on toilet paper at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Below are some planning ideas you can put in place in advance of a storm. Basically, you’ll want to be ready in case you have no power or water for a week or longer.
Home and Family Planning
Store enough non-perishable food and water for at least three to seven days for your family. You may want to fill up the bathtub or other large containers with extra water for washing dishes and flushing toilets.
Have cash handy. If the power is out, ATMs will not work (nor will credit cards) and you may need cash for essentials.
Having a battery-powered or solar-powered radio can be helpful, so you can keep abreast of what is going on outside.
Declutter. Secure outside furniture or any items that can become projectiles. In addition, cut down trees that could damage your home or your neighbors’ property.
If you don’t have hurricane impact windows, make sure your shutters are functional.
Charge electronics, buy back-up devices and have flashlights and replacement batteries on hand.
Have enough food and supplies for children and pets – don’t forget the entertainment, including games and toys!
Fill any important prescription medications so you have ample supply in the event you cannot get to the pharmacy or doctor.
Buying or preparing a first aid kit or emergency bag may be helpful – you can find these bags on Amazon for under $100. You can create a larger kit for staying at home and a smaller kit in the event you have to evacuate.
Plan for family members with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Many medical devices need power supplies.
Fill up all your cars and make sure you have enough fuel for generators.
Talk to family members to decide how you will contact each other and what your plan will be in an emergency. Write down important phone numbers and store them with your important documents — most of us don’t remember phone numbers in our heads anymore, and if you lose power and your cellphone battery dies you won’t have access to your contacts anymore. Make a list of emergency phone numbers and family physicians. Some ideas can be found here: http://www.ek-ff.com/Organizer.pdf
Secure boats and RVs. If you have a swimming pool, check the fence around it and the safety net or pool cover. Consider a pool alarm in the event the fence blows down, as swimming pools can pose a danger to children and pets, especially after a storm.
Review your homeowners and flood insurance to make sure you have adequate coverage now, well before any storms even form. Real estate values have gone up considerably in some areas, so make sure your policy has kept up with home values and replacement costs.
Store important documents on secure cloud storage services so you can access them remotely later. You may want to store your insurance policies and any other important home-related documents. At Evensky & Katz we provide all our clients with their own client portal document vaults where they can securely store important documents.
Buy a waterproof case for personal documents, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates and passports – something that can be grabbed quickly if you have to evacuate. As backup you may want to scan these documents and save copies in a password-protected file.
Secure valuables, such as jewelry and sentimental memorabilia (old photos and heirlooms). Possibly store them in a safe deposit box or fireproof/waterproof safe.
Most insurance policies have a 2% hurricane deductible, so make sure you have enough cash set aside in the event you need to come up with these funds for urgent repairs. Insurance companies may take awhile to send adjusters and process claims.
If you own a business, make sure you have a continuity plan in place.
Since we are still in a pandemic this website may be useful: