Secure Your Property
•Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
•Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
•Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts..
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. There are six basics you should stock in your home:
•First aid supplies
•Clothing, bedding and sanitation supplies
How Much Water?
You should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking. Additionally, take into account:
•Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
•Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
•Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
•A medical emergency might require additional water.
To prepare safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it. Observe the expiration date.
How to Prepare Containers of Water
Purchase food-grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage. Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Follow directions on filling the container with water.
If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.
If storing water in plastic soda bottles:
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a cool, dark place. Replace the water every six months if not using commercially bottled water.