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How to Get Ready for a Hurricane

Hayley Fager


On this page we've gathered information and resources to help you prepare your home and make a plan in the event of a major storm.


1. Make a Plan

  • Sign up for alert services through your local Office of Emergency
  • Text instead of calling. Text messages can often get around network disruptions
  • Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
  • Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
  • Take your emergency supply kit out.
  • Which room in your home would be safest? Pick an interior room with few windows.
  • How would you secure doors and windows and sealed all openings?
  • Use FEMA's Family Emergency Planning Tool

2. Get a Kit: Here's a list of supplies.


What if….

The power goes out?

  • Stay safe indoors if possible
  • Consider purchasing a generator. If you have a generator, install carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including electronics and appliances
  • If electrical power lines are down, don’t touch them, and report downed lines to 911.
  • Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires and anything they are touching
  • Do not enter damaged buildings with flame lanterns, candles or lighted cigarettes because there may be gas leaks.
  • When the power is back on, plug in and then turn on your appliances one at a time to avoid a power surge.

Credit Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee, bcrepc.org

You have a pet? Pack a pet supply kit with:

  • Sturdy leases, harnesses and / or carriers to transport pets safely
  • Food: at least a three day supply in airtight, waterproof container
  • Medicines/ records
  • Documents: vaccination documents, feeding schedules, name and number of vet
  • Collapsible bowl, rabies tag
  • Cat litter/ pan – manual can opener if needed for food
  • Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding

You’re going to a shelter? How to get there:

  • If you feel safe to do so, drive yourself
  • If you can’t drive or don’t feel safe driving, contact local emergency services, they can take you to the shelter or to the Regional Transit Authority bus for transport.
  • What to bring: the shelter provides a secure facility, a cot to sleep on, food and water, basic first aid, and functional assistance. Beyond that, it is up to you to pack and bring the essentials of your life including extra clothing, medication, and any medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen concentrators.
  • You can bring your pets with you, all shelters must accept them.

You have special needs?

  • Bring any communication tools (i.e. hearing aids, communication boards etc) with you to the shelter.
  • If you live at home with the assistance of a caretaker, the caretaker must come to the shelter with you. Make sure you bring your medical supplies.

You have a car?

  • Keep your gas tank full in case of evacuation or power outages
  • Do not drive through flooded areas
  • If you have to drive, watch out for trees and wires in the roadway. Do not drive across a downed power line.
  • Be aware of areas where flood waters receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights may be out and roads could be unsafe with downed trees and power lines. Unnecessary travel also impedes emergency response crews from clearing streets and responding to emergencies.

After the storm:

  1. Throw away any refrigerated food that was exposed to temperatures above 40°F for more than two hours or has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
  2. Never attempt to touch or move wires and keep children and pets away from downed lines. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris and could be live.
  3. Contact your doctor if you’re concerned that medications have spoiled.

These resources are from the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee and from Americorp members, Conor Terry and Cynthia Slemmer. You can find more information at http://www.bcrepc.org/