I’ve been getting frantic phone calls and messages from my family and friends in New York and beyond since Monday, when news that a life-threatening category four hurricane was headed our way. While much of the attention and safety measures are focused along the coastline where they’re predicting up to 30 inches of rain, it’s not clear how Charlotte will be affected. Still, I’m not taking any chances. Here are three ways we’re preparing for Hurricane Florence:
Discuss an emergency plan – Avon and I have talked about the impending storm in passing, but tonight, we’re going to sit down with Bean to seriously think through and discuss what we may need to do in the event of an emergency. It’s important that we include Bean in our discussion; not only because we don’t want him to be frightened or anxious, but because the more knowledge he’s equipped with, the better prepared he’ll be to act quickly and calmly. We’ll talk about the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen and how to prepare and respond to them. We’ll also establish roles and responsibilities, including a point person out of the storm’s path to keep updated, and how we will work together as a team.
Prepare an emergency kit – Part of being prepared for an emergency means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least three days. Tonight, we’ll collect the items we may need and keep them in a readily accessible and easily transportable emergency supply kit. An emergency supply kit is a collection of basic items you may need in the event of an emergency. According to the American Red Cross, a basic emergency supply kit should include the following recommended items:
• Water (one gallon per person, per day)
• Food (non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items)
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash (in the event of a power outage, ATMs will not be in service)
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area
I’m adding important documents, such as insurance cards and policies, our birth certificates and social security cards and a copy of our lease. Ours are stored in a fire and waterproof safe.
Sign up for alerts – It’s important to stay informed during an emergency. Sign up for alerts from local news stations and local government offices, including the school district, to receive the latest updates. If you have existing accounts on any of your favorite news sites, make sure your contact information is up to date.
What other emergency precautions should we consider? If you’re in an area along the storm’s path, how are you preparing for Hurricane Florence?