Storm Preparation

Stock up on bottled water, nonperishable food, medicine, baby supplies and pet food. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day.

If your water is pumped electrically, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water in case power goes off. You can flush toilets by pouring a bucket of water into the bowl.

Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. If the power goes out, this will keep food fresh longer. If your freezer is relatively empty, fill used plastic soda bottles or other plastic containers with water and put them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer some of the containers to your refrigerator.

Turn off and unplug any electrical equipment you're not using — especially sensitive equipment such as computers, televisions and VCRs.

Fill your vehicle's gas tank.

Keep extra cash on hand.

In case family members are separated from one another, have a plan for getting in touch. Agree on an out-of-state relative or friend that family members will contact.

Place critical documents, such as birth certificates and insurance documents in a safe place — either a water and fireproof container or a bank safe deposit box.

Create a "disaster kit" that includes:

  • A NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Three-day supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off)
  • Manual can opener
  • One-week supply of essential prescription medications
  • Extra blankets
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members, including baby food and diapers.