Things to think about as a storm approaches

Posted July 25, 2008
Updated July 30, 2015

Determine where you will go if you plan to evacuate. If you need to go to a shelter, find out where the shelter will be. Most shelters do not allow pets, so decide how you will care for them.

If you decide to stay in your home, be sure to have shutters for all windows and openings and determine how long it will take you to put them up. Will rising water be an issue in your home?

Notify any out-of-area friends and relatives that you are staying, and lay in supplies in case the power goes out. Determine what special supplies and food you will need to have on hand and how you will cope with any family member with medical needs.

Charge mobile phones, tablets and other communication devices, and buy or locate a portable charger or back-up battery to keep those electronics running longer. Stock up on batteries for radios and video game players, too.

Put food and supplies you need in airtight plastic bags or containers. (Food and supplies checklist).

Put an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that, if the power goes out, you can check that food stays at a safe temperature. Make sure the freezer is at 0°F or below and the refrigerator is at 40°F or below.

Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.

Freeze any refrigerated items you won't immediately need.

Fill sinks and tubs in case your water supply is cut off, especially if you're on a well that relies on power. You can use it to flush toilets!

Make a trip to the ATM. If the power goes out, debit and credit cards won't work. You'll want to have cash on hand.

Fill up your gas tank. Without power, pumps won't work. And with a full tank, you won't have to worry about long lines or shortages caused by the storm. If you have a generator, make sure you have enough fuel to keep it going, too.

While you are out, refill any prescription medications.

Make sure you have the following items in an elevated, accessible location:

  • First-aid kit
  • Sanitary items
  • Enough food to feed your family for at least three days
  • Cash will be invaluable in the event of widespread damage.
  • Important papers (take them with you if you evacuate)

Move all valuables to higher levels in your home in case of flooding.

Move vehicles to a covered area to prevent damage from high winds, flying debris and hail.

Prepare for high winds by boarding up windows and other glass and anchoring outside objects.

Identify loose items located outside, such as lawn furniture, grills, toys, and yard equipment that should be brought inside before a storm.

Fuel all vehicles before a storm hits and get to the ATM or bank and secure some cash. Banks will probably be closed for some time after a severe storm. Keep a photo ID that shows your home address.

Move boats and trailers close to the house and extend mooring lines of boats in the water.

Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to serve as a family contact.

Make sure everyone in your family knows how to reach your contact.

Check on neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons and children.

Watch WRAL-TV News and check for critical information and storm coordinates.


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