Hurricane Plan: Prepare Yourself Before The Storm

What To Do Now

• Create a Family Disaster Plan.

• Decide where you plan to go if you are requested to evacuate. You may go to a hotel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to a Red Cross shelter.

• Put together your disaster supplies as recommended. Click here for a supply list.

• Purchase plywood and window clips (like PLYLOX) so you have the supplies to protect windows, glass doors, and skylights in the event of a storm.

• Plan for pets. Pets are not allowed in public shelters. If you need to make arrangements for your pet, contact your vet, local SPCA or Humane Society.

• Trim trees to reduce potential damage from falling limbs. Trim them back from house and power lines.

• Clean rain gutters and keep them free of debris. You can create your own flood with clogged drains and gutters.

• Pick up things around your yard that you are no longer using, such as empty plant pots, etc.

• Collect insurance information and important papers. Collect your auto and homeowners or renters insurance policies. Don’t forget health insurance cards, and bring copies of your bank and investment account numbers, since you may not be able to access these accounts online and may need to call instead. Keep all this info in place so it’s easy to find and take with you if needed, preferably in a water proof container.

• Take a written inventory of personal possessions. Most people couldn’t list all the items in their living room without looking. Make a written inventory now so you’ll know exactly what’s been lost later. A video or digital record also becomes extremely useful during the claims process.

• Put together a first aid kit.

• Prepare your car. Check gas, oil, and water. Also, check your car’s emergency gear, such as a flashlight, spare tire, and jumper cables.

• If you may need to evacuate and don’t have the transportation to do it on your own, register now with your local Emergency Management Office.

When the storm starts to head your way

• Stay tuned to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and WBZ-TV for weather updates. Hurricanes are unpredictable, so remain informed. Your radio and TV stations will provide frequent updates about the storm, as well as advice from local officials.

• Check your emergency supplies. Click here for a supply list.

• Put up shutters or plywood on all windows and openings using window clips to protect windows, glass doors, and skylights in the event of a storm.

• Clear your yard of loose objects, bicycles, lawn furniture, trash cans, etc.

• Move patio furniture, hanging plants and gas grills inside.

• Secure your boat. Remember that most drawbridges and swing bridges will be closed to all boat traffic after the evacuation order is issued.

• Leave swimming pools filled. Super-chlorinate the water and cover pump and filtration systems and intakes.

• Plan your route if you may have to evacuate. Check the Internet or listen to the radio to find out about road closures and the storm’s predicted path.

• Get some cash to take care of expenses, as stores may be unable to accept checks or credit cards after the storm.

• Inform your extended family. If possible, let a family member in another city or state know about your plans for the storm, including destination and route if applicable.

• Contact your employer. Notify your employer’s emergency contacts of your plans now and after the storm.

• Pay bills before the storm. Consider setting up an automatic payment plan to ensure that your payments are always made on time.

• Close storm shutters if you have them.

If You Can Stay Home

• Get stocked up with your disaster supplies.  Click here for a supplies list.

• Make sure your car is filled with gas.

• Fill up your freezer with containers of water so they will freeze before the storm hits. You can use zip locks or plastic containers. If you lose power, your freezer will stay frozen longer if it is full.

• As the storm gets close, turn your refrigerator to maximum cold and keep it closed.

If You Evacuate

• If local authorities tell you to evacuate, do so, especially if you live in low-lying areas which could be easily flooded. Leave early before roads become jammed or flooded and you can’t get out.

• If your home is vulnerable to flooding, move valuables and furniture to a higher level.

• Turn off electricity at the main circuit breaker or fuse box to protect appliances from power surges (this reduces the risk of live dangling wires after a storm).

• Pack what you will need. See MEMA’s suggested list.

• Turn off water and electricity at the main valve, breakers or fuses.

• Shelter your car. Keep your vehicle in the garage or on higher ground. Avoid parking it under a tree or on a low-lying street where it could be damaged by water.

• Arrange for a ride with nearby neighbors or relatives if you do not have a car. You can also call a local senior citizens group, your church, or your community emergency management office for help in arranging a ride. Make these arrangements early.

• If you are going to a public shelter, the most important items to take are your medication, a blanket, the portable radio, an extra change of clothing and perhaps a small supply of packaged foods.

• Keep your gas tank as full as possible during hurricane season. Fuel may be difficult to get.

• Learn the recommended evacuation route from your home to safer, higher ground. Local broadcasts will tell you where to go during an evacuation.

• Stay in touch. Take your cell phone charger, a portable radio, and extra batteries. If you have access to a national weather radio (NWR), bring it along, too.

  • Joe


    2 coolers with the following items. Cooler one; two 30 packs of bud light, 2 bottles of pre made mudslides(for breakfast) a bottle of crown and 12 bags of ice.

    Cooler two; 2 dozen eggs, 2 lbs of Bacon, A 6 pack of boneless ribeyes and 6 bone in rib eyes. Three pounds of live steamers and 2 packages of brauts and buns. 4 cans of corn, 4 cans of beans and 4 cans of snows clam chowder. A dozen ears of corn and 12 large potatoes, A dozen bags of ice and a rack of toilet paper.

    Make sure you have 2 full propane tanks for the grill and a generator big enough to Atleast power the TV. Oh yea I guess a flashlight, batterys and some water.

    • Italo

      Let’s head to Joe’s, guyz! :)

    • Joe

      Oh yea, a reserve 30 pack warm not cold. Another cooler with as many bags of ice as she will hold.

      • Willow

        Joe, I think we should all evacuate our homes, and go to yours. Everyone should bring their own supplies, but be prepared for a great time. :))

  • emom

    All this is great BUT , if you stay at the house , ONLY IF IT IS NOT DANGEROUS, you need to be sure you have the essential to weather the storm. Leaving the fridge and freezer closed is great BUT if you need something out of them well a back up plan is needed,.,,, Coolers, filled with ice and filled with items you need most, milk, eggs, butter or what ever you want. The fridge will only stay cold for so long especially if opened occasionally… But a cooler a very good one can stay cold with the ice. Next the pantry should be stocked with shelf life staples, pasta, sauce, canned goods, soda, bread, cookies for the kids, crackers, peanut butter & jelly tuna fish, cereal, also have some fresh fruit and vegetables on hand, any food that does not require refrigeration or freezer is best,,,, No a cart full of steaks, chicken and burgers are not good,, You loose power you loose them, especially if you loose power for a few days… Also after the storm has passed and you have lost power now its time to eat.. Then what ,,, got a grill ,, fire it up,, so be sure you have charcoal or gas in the can…. Then you are good to BBQ,,, BUT PLEASE DO NOT DO IT DURING THE STORM…. If the wind is blowing the flames could catch items on fire and that will not be good,. Now lets not forget some important things flashlights that works batteries, lanterns that uses batteries, plenty of batteries and plenty of water to drink,,, only incase of issues with the water… cant have to much water on hand… But no matter what you do ,,, stay safe, don’t be foolish and venture out into the storm,,, and have plenty of games on hand for fun. Oh and don’t forget that battery operated radio , it’s the only source for hearing the news and music. Being prepared for bad weather is always a good idea, no matter the season,, winter will be upon us and well we will be going thru this same drill,,, so some of what you do for this storm will be around for the next,,, This is serious stuff and should be taken as such. Stay safe and don’t be foolish

    • Willow

      Emom, good advice. You stay safe too.

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  • emom

    WARNING ,… WARNING…….. at this moment,, D cell batteries are in short supply.,… most every place I went to was totally out of them. I did find and 8 pack of them at walmart, but one Flashlights are scarce as well,, Sure you can opurchase kiddie ones, not many and those $50 mag lights. But no other kind not even a lantern… My advice at this time double check what lights you have and be sure they work,.,, If you need bulbs for them Good luck there too, will need to check radio shack for them… all in all most every type of emergency lights are gone… If you decide to use CANDLES… please place them in the center of any table, Do not place near any curtain or flamable material even , near a wall.. also do not place candles on coffee tables, they can get knocked over and do not place down lowe enough where children can reach them.. place in a safe secure spot….. and if possible place the candles in a holder ….. remember to get shelf stable foods and water,..,,, If you have water jugs Like I do, then get them filled at a fill up place or use a britta ….. stay safe and well and be carefull…… good luck all

  • Willow

    Good point about using candles. So many fires are caused by them, and hurricane damage is enough to contend with without burning down your home. Another thing to be careful about while using candles is to be sure they are in a place where your pets can’t be harmed by them, especially if you have a cat.

    I don’t think we’re going to be as lucky this time as we were will Earl. Please don’t be complacent about such a dangerous storm.

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  • YourPets

    Now, with the federal Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS), state and local authorities are obligated to include pets and service animals in their disaster evacuation plans.

    IF YOU EVACUATE, TAKE YOUR PETS. The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to take them with you when you evacuate. Animals left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Animals left inside your home can escape through storm-damaged areas, such as broken windows. Animals turned loose to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, or accidents. Leaving dogs tied or chained outside in a disaster is a death sentence.

    If you leave, even if you think you may be gone only for a few hours, take your animals with you. Once you leave, you have no way of knowing how long you will be kept out of the area, and you may not be able to go back for your pets.

    • Willow

      Thank you so much for this informative comment. I have two dogs, three cats, and two goldfish, and in a I hope others care as much for their pets. They are family members in my opinion. At least mine are.

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  • Italo

    I think this storm will nudge a bit more eastwardly at the latter stages of its movement into the New England area–and give Boston a bit of a nasty afternoon Sunday with a period of winds heavier and stronger than are being anticipated for the Boston area at this time, under the current track. I still say that this past weather year has been the one of the attack of weather events from offshore–and even though a hurricane forms differently than a nor’easter, I think we’ll have a piece of those higher winds here around Boston’s coast on Sunday that are now predicted to mostly affect the south coastal areas. Everybody just try to be and stay safe!

  • emom

    WARNING…… bread is now hard to get, the demand is up so if you can find some grab it,,, D CELL batteries, are rare at the moment and well If you are lucky to find them grab them.. FLASHLIGHTS, unless you are willing to spend $40 or more for a mag light , forget it…….. Oh maybe you can find some of those Disney character flash lights,, the kids might like them. Wind up radios and lanterns getting hard to find. Let this be a reminder for the winter…. When you DO see these items on the shelves, BY ALL MEANS, purchase for your emergency equipment. Other wise if we have a bad winter it could be once again difficult to get,,, NO NOT THE BREAD, that’s for now.. All the rest… Any item that you would use on power outages during the year are items you will possibly need during these times. .. Also I would like to share a few helpful suggestions for the folks out there……
    OK we all depend on our cell phones, BUT what happens if you loose power in them , But that’s the only place you have all your contact numbers… Its time to have a phone book with all your contact numbers by the house phone ,,,, WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE ONE… well go and get one and use it…. Next . Anyone that has FIOS, you will only have enough power to last you 1 hour…. So Please stay of the internet (wireless) since it will use that hour up faster.. I KNOW. The system runs on a battery back up but its only an hour…… so save it for the main house phone for emergency calls PLEASE.. If you need it have a back pack packed with a change or 2 of clothes, tooth brush and paste, bottle of water, some packages of crackers, maybe one of those snack packs of tuna salad and crackers,, they are really good. Maybe those peanut butter cups, snack size and pretzels for the kids, put a coloring book and crayons in there the kids will love it, deck of cards for the adults, paper and pencil,, well for anything ,, even for notes,,, charges for cell phones, game boys, and Bluetooth’s, MONEY, most important. Rain gear, flashlight and ID.. Keep it by the door you will leave out, alone with your shoes and maybe anything else you might need, like your leash for your pet,, MOST IMPORTANT…
    Keeping some items handy will make it easy IF it is necessary to leave the house in some areas.. I am not saying most would need to do this, BUT as we have seen over the last year areas of devastation has hit many areas floods , tornados, blizzards and ice storms, now this… Wish all good luck in the path of this monster., even if its only a cat 1 or strong tropical storm , power can go out, and well some may need to still leave there home….. Take every precautions , and if you done use most of the items what’s not needed and used if it can be stored away get a tote and mark it emergency stuff.. OH take the batteries out of the extra flashlights and radios, lanterns and items that need batteries,, they will leak and ruin the contacts.

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