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If your area must evacuate:

  • Pack what you will need, including emergency supplies kit.
  • Turn off water and electricity at the main valve, breakers or fuses.
  • Turn off propane gas tanks that serve individual appliances like a stove or grill. Do not turn off natural gas unless local officials advise to do so. While you may turn water and electricity back on, only a professional should turn gas back on, to avoid the possibility of a leak leading to explosion. Since it can take weeks for a professional to respond, do not turn off the gas unless you are told to do so, or you suspect a leak.
  • Listen for and follow local evacuation instructions.

If you can stay home:

  • Obtain, mark clean containers for storing water.
  • Obtain a week’s supply of nonperishable foods. Check your disaster supplies kit.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone.
  • Be a good friend. Offer your home as shelter to friends/relatives who live in vulnerable areas.
  • Stay inside away from windows.
  • Wait for official word that the danger is over. Don’t be fooled by the storm’s calm eye.

When the Storm Approaches

  • Listen for weather updates
  • Check gas, oil in vehicle
  • Check your emergency evacuation supplies
  • Board up or put storm shutters on windows
  • Clear your yard of loose objects, bicycles, lawn furniture, trash cans, etc.
  • Leave swimming pools filled. Super chlorinate the water, cover pump, filtration systems and intakes.
  • Make sure you know your evacuation routes and shelters.


  • Baby food, baby formula, powdered milk
  • Canned meats (Spam, chicken, ham)
  • Canned fish (tuna, sardines)
  • Canned meals: spaghetti, soup, stew, chili
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Cereal, crackers and cookies
  • Instant coffee, tea bags, sodas, juice
  • Granola bars, nuts, trail mix
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Sugar, salt, pepper


  • Water. One gallon per person, per day — prepare for a minimum of three days.
  • Battery-operated television or radio.
  • Extra batteries
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Flashlights and waterproof matches
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Toilet paper
  • Baby supplies
  • Cash (ATMs may not work after the storm)
  • Rain gear/hat
  • Bleach or water-purification tablets
  • Soap and detergent
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Charcoal/lighter fluid or portable camping stove
  • Disposable plates, glasses and utensils
  • Ice chest and ice
  • Valuable papers — insurance information, passports, Social Security cards, bank account and credit card numbers, wills, deeds, etc. — or copies, in a waterproof bag
  • Prescription and other necessary medicines
  • Blankets, tarp and masking tape
  • Dust mask to filter contaminated air, plastic sheeting and duct tape.
  • Three day’s worth of clothing, sleeping bags
  • First-aid kit: aspirin or pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication scissors, tweezers, bug spray
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Fire extinguisher — ABC type
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Extra house, car keys
  • Tools: Shut-off wrench, pliers
  • Needles, thread
  • Whistle
  • Signal flare
  • Games, books for entertainment
  • Pet care: leashes, pet carriers, food
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
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