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Disaster Preparedness Checklist

Disaster Preparedness ChecklistMany people live in areas prone to natural disasters.  Being prepared and organized is the key to overcoming stressful moments such as a mandatory evacuation.  Do you have a plan?  You should.  I suggest having as much of this information organized in such a way where it is ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Why?  So that you can stay calm in the event that you ever have to put it into action.


– Things to Do in Preparation –

    • Fill Vehicle w/full tank of gas
    • Have evacuation plan (taking any pets into consideration)
    • Have batteries for any flashlights/communication devices on-hand
    • Backup your computer
    • Document your property & contents for insurance purposes
    • Charge your electronic devices & mobile phone
    • Fill sealable plastic bags with water and stuff in freezer
    • Turn fridge and freezer temps to maximum cooling
    • Inspect your property and pull in any lose furniture/trash/gardening/decorative items that could pose a projectile hazard in high wind storms
    • Finish any outstanding laundry/dishwashing if necessary & there is time
    • Fill your bathtub with water if you have well water and prepare buckets to assist with flushing the toilet
    • Secure windows and shutters; plywood can help maintain the integrity of the glass, preventing it from airborne projectiles during high winds
    • Fill plastic cup with water & freeze overnight; place penny on top once frozen and store in freezer (if penny drops, and then water refreezes, you know power has been off for a significant amount of time once you’ve returned home if evacuating)
    • Use sandbags/towels (inside) as a line of defense for any water that may push in against sliding doors/windows
    • Move items away from windows if possible
    • Shut off electric & other utilities such as gas/water/unplug items from outlets in case of resulting power surges/infrastructure damage & interruption
    • Notify family/next of kin as to your storm plans
    • Gas for any generator
    • Trim & remove any dead branches/greens that look weak and could become airborne
    • Rake leaves away from storm drains
    • If you own a pool, empty it halfway and add additional chlorine to compensate for anticipated rainfall


– Important Items to Take –

    • Medication (prescription or other for things like headaches)
    • Insurance documents
    • Banking documents
    • Important title/deed-related documentation
    • Employment/any business-related fiscal documents
    • Utility documents
    • Computer backups
    • Cash
    • Suitcase with appropriate mix of clothes & toiletries
    • Cell phone & charger
    • Flashlight & Batteries- Optional Items to Take –
    • Digital Camera
    • Laptop (if you have one)
    • Any family photos/videos/documents that may hold sentimental value


– If Not Leaving: Things to Have On-Hand –

  • Water for drinking/light bathing
  • Canned Food
  • Bread
  • Crackers/Granola Bars/Chips/Cookies
  • Cereal
  • Vitamins to help ensure nutrition
  • Medication (prescription or other for things like headaches)
  • Safe place to be in the event of structural damage
  • Flashlights/battery powered lanterns (candles are not suggested)
  • Generator
  • Cash
  • First Aid kit