Skip to main content

Keep a hurricane preparation checklist

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:20 PM EDT, Fri October 26, 2012
Atlantic City, New Jersey, resident Kim Johnson inspects the area around her apartment building, which flooded on Tuesday, October 30. Large sections of an old boardwalk also were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in 258 Red Cross-operated shelters across 16 states because of Sandy, the American Red Cross tells CNN.<strong> </strong><strong><a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/us/gallery/ny-sandy/index.html'>View photos of New York recovering from impact</a></strong><strong>.</strong> Atlantic City, New Jersey, resident Kim Johnson inspects the area around her apartment building, which flooded on Tuesday, October 30. Large sections of an old boardwalk also were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in 258 Red Cross-operated shelters across 16 states because of Sandy, the American Red Cross tells CNN. View photos of New York recovering from impact.
HIDE CAPTION
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
Sandy's destructive path
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Know what to do as a storm approaches
  • Have a supply of items you may need in case of a hurricane
  • Three days of water and food are recommended, along with a grab bag of other items

(CNN) -- In areas where hurricanes can strike, it's a good idea to have a closet or an area set aside for storm preparedness storage. There, you can keep items you'll need in case disaster strikes suddenly or you need to evacuate.

It's also important to know the difference between a watch and a warning, and when they are issued for tropical storms and hurricanes.

A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions -- sustained winds above 73 mph -- are expected somewhere within the warning area, and it is time to finish preparation to protect people and property. "Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds" -- 39 to 73 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.

Hurricane safety: When the lights go out

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible in the watch area, and are issued 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

A tropical storm warning means tropical-storm-force winds are expected somewhere in the designated area within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch means such conditions are possible within 48 hours.

Here are recommendations on what to do before a storm approaches:

-- Download an application to your smartphone that can notify people where you are, and if you need help or are safe. The Red Cross has a Hurricane App available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. A First Aid app is also available.

-- Use hurricane shutters or board up windows and doors with 5/8 inch plywood.

-- Bring outside items in if they could be picked up by the wind.

-- Clear gutters of debris.

-- Reinforce the garage door.

-- Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting in case power goes off. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.

-- Fill a bathtub with water.

-- Get full tank of gas in one car.

-- Go over the evacuation plan with the family, and learn alternate routes to safety.

-- Learn the location of the nearest shelter or nearest pet-friendly shelter.

-- Put an ax in your attic in case of severe flooding.

-- Evacuate if ordered and stick to marked evacuation routes, if possible.

-- Store important documents -- passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, deeds -- in a watertight container.

-- Have a current inventory of household property.

-- Leave a note to say where you are going.

-- Unplug small appliances and electronics before you leave.

-- If possible, turn off the electricity, gas and water for residence.

Here is a list of supplies:

-- A three-day supply of water, one gallon per person per day.

-- Three days of food, with suggested items including: canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, energy/protein bars, trail mix/nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food.

-- A can opener.

-- Flashlight(s).

-- A battery-powered radio, preferably a weather radio.

-- Extra batteries.

-- A first aid kit, including latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; petroleum jelly.

-- A small fire extinguisher.

-- Whistles for each person.

-- A seven-day supply of medications.

-- Vitamins.

-- A multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screwdriver.

-- Cell phones and chargers.

-- Contact information for the family.

-- A sleeping bag for each person.

-- Extra cash.

-- A silver foil emergency blanket.

-- A map of the area.

-- Baby supplies.

-- Pet supplies.

-- Wet wipes.

-- A camera (to document storm damage).

-- Insect repellent.

-- Rain gear.

-- Tools and supplies for securing your home.

-- Plastic sheeting.

-- Duct tape.

-- Dust masks.

-- An extra set of house keys.

-- An extra set of car keys.

-- An emergency ladder to evacuate the second floor.

-- Household bleach.

-- Paper cups, plates and paper towels.

-- Activities for children.

-- Charcoal and matches, if you have a portable grill. But only use it outside.

American Red Cross tips on what to do after the storm arrives:

-- Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.

-- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.

-- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.

-- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

-- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.

-- Stay out of any building that has water around it.

-- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.

-- Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.

-- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it's not contaminated.

-- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.

-- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.

-- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.

-- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

Sources: American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Hurricane Center

Stay well-fed in any disaster

Do you have a suggestion for this list? Post a comment below.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Superstorm Sandy
updated 8:17 AM EST, Mon November 5, 2012
A mother learns that her newborn is part of a hospital evacuation. Facebook posts from a member of the HMS Bounty turn ominous. A man worries about the wind and rain, but another force of nature hits home.
updated 2:53 PM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Tourists become volunteer rescue workers. The connected provide power outlets and Wi-Fi. Performers lift spirits. Photographers preserve images. Doctors work overtime to keep hospitals running and patients alive.
Get to know the victims of Superstorm Sandy through our interactive feature.
updated 10:42 AM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
It has been in operation only since October 30, but the Facebook page for "Giving back to those affected by Sandy" has a longer timeline than most Facebook members.
updated 3:07 PM EST, Sun November 25, 2012
It's important to remember that even as the effect of Superstorm Sandy recedes from the news, there are still devastated areas that are without electricity, heat or hot water.
updated 11:46 AM EST, Sat November 24, 2012
The rapper 50 Cent brought a little holiday cheer and Thanksgiving food to New Yorkers hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
updated 12:10 PM EST, Wed November 21, 2012
Our AmeriCares "Operation Muck-Out" team immediately got to work, ripping out the interior walls and removing the insulation until only wooden beams were standing.
updated 12:19 PM EST, Tue November 20, 2012
Ashley Murray became the first female president of Liberty Industrial Gases and Welding Supplies Inc. in Brooklyn. But now the family history Murray was charged with preserving is at risk of ending after Superstorm Sandy.
Truckloads of donations from across the country, carrying everything from bottled water to diapers, are arriving at places of worship.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Tue November 20, 2012
The adage says "a picture is worth a thousand words," but when Leeann Lewandowski happened upon a photograph of her late mother on Facebook after her home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, she was speechless.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri November 2, 2012
Roots ripped out of the ground as a large oak tree fell toward Olga Raymond's front door. With it came a power line.
iReporters share their photos, videos and stories of living in the path of the superstorm.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT