> NOAA – Hurricane Safety and Preparedness Fact Sheet

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Things to do before disaster strikes:

  • Secure or bring inside lawn furniture, trashcans, bicycles, toys, etc.
  • Trim dead tree limbs.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Fill water containers for drinking. (City water may become contaminated and well pumps may lose electricity)
  • If you water comes from a well or if water service is disrupted, you will need water to flush the toilets.  (Consider filling up a bathtub and using a bucket)
  • Purchase non-perishable foods and ice. (Store ice in your freezer to use in a cooler should you lose power)
  • Know how to board up and/or sand bag vulnerable places of your house and have materials on hand.
  • Know how to shut off gas, electricity and water if you need to.
  • Move your valuable papers to a safe, dry place or evacuate with them in a portable waterproof container. This may include insurance policies, birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports, deeds/leases, titles, etc.  
  • Have a camera on hand for recording damage for insurance claims. (Don’t forget batteries for the camera and flash)  Take pictures of your home, vehicles, and belongings before hand for insurance claims.
  • Have emergency phone numbers on hand (Power Company, police, fire, emergency medical service, veterinarian, etc.)
  • Have a plan for communicating with family.
  • Have essential drugs and first aid materials on hand.
  • Have emergency lighting on hand. (Flashlights and/or lanterns with batteries, candles, gas lanterns with fuel and matches) (Be aware of the fire or CO2 dangers of  candles or gas lanterns)
  • Have an extra supply of fuel for charcoal or gas grills or camping stoves.
  • Have an extra supply of wood for the fireplace or wood stove.
  • Listen to the radio, TV or NOAA weather radio to keep abreast of changing conditions.
  • Obtain cash from the bank. (Banks and ATMs cannot serve you if they do not have power.  You cannot make purchases if it is cash only.)
  • Fill up all cars with gas (check oil, fluid levels, belts, hoses and tire pressure including the spare tire) (you will be prepared to evacuate if necessary and you will avoid gas lines or no gas later)
  • Park you vehicles and trailers in a garage or an open area away from potential falling trees or limbs.
  • Familiarize yourself with camping stove and lantern directions and precautions before you need them and the lights are out)
  • Charge cell phone, lap tops and any other electronic equipment.
  • Be ready to pack up and evacuate if ordered to do so.  You will need an ID with your current residence to reenter the evacuated area.
  • Use the checklist below.

Checklist for Emergency Items

  • Cash and change
  • Car fueled and serviced
  • Charged cell phone(s), charging cord(s), alternative charging devices*
  • Camp stove*
  • Fuel of emergency cooking*
  • Batteries* (camera, flashlight, lantern, portable radio, etc.)
  • Candle lantern* and candles*
  • Flashlights*, lanterns*or headlamps*
  • Fire wood and kindling for the fireplace or wood stove.
  • Matches in a waterproof container*
  • Ice and cooler*
  • Portable AM/FM radio
  • Weather radio
  • Chainsaw, fuel, oil, bar oil, replacement chain, file, etc.)
  • Hand saw*
  • Knife*
  • Multi-tool* or basic tool kit to turn off utilities, etc.
  • Drinking water containers* (1 gal per person per day.  Don’t forget your pets.)
  • Non-perishable foods and canned goods*
  • Hand operated can opener*
  • First aid kit*
  • Sleeping bags* or warm blankets for each person.
  • Change of seasonal clothes and sturdy footwear*.
  • Work gloves and dust masks.
  • Rainwear*.
  • Prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, glasses, dentures, hearing aids, batteries, medical devices, contact lens solution, hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, feminine hygiene items, quick dry towels* and basic toiletries.
  • Fire extinguisher (Charged)
  • Hand wound or battery operated watch or clock
  • Pet food, pet prescriptions, pet food, bowls, carrier, collar*, ID, and leash*.
  • Baby formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, pacifier, soap, clothing, blankets, non-perishable food, and juices.
  • Paper plates, paper towels, cups and disposable utensils (if no water is available)
  • Large tarp and rope for roof damage*
  • Duct tape
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.*
  • Add to this list to customize it for your needs or situation.

*Available at the Great Outdoor Provision Company (REMEMBER supplies sell out across the region when a disaster is approaching.  PLAN AHEAD!

Things to do after disaster strikes

  • Be safe and check for hazards before venturing outside or reentering your home if you evacuated.  Downed power lines, electrically charged water, sharp debris, etc. may be present.
  • Take photos of all damaged property prior to cleanup or temporary repairs for insurance claims.
  • Inventory all damaged properties.
  • Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Make only temporary repairs necessary to prevent further damage.
  • Consult with insurance company before making permanent repairs.