Storm Season Planning Checklist
Each year, hurricanes and other severe storms cause over $150 billion in damages in the United States due to flooding. Are you prepared in the event that a severe storm affects your home or business?
The following checklists will help ensure you know what to do.
Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane or Severe Storm
Before the storm season begins, make sure to follow these steps to keep your family safe.
Make a Plan
To ensure you are fully prepared, it’s critical to make a plan ahead of time, including:
- Compile a list of emergency and other important phone numbers and keep it in an easy place to find. You should also program these numbers into your cell phone.
- Identify the nearest storm shelter and map out a variety of routes you can take to get there. The more routes, the better since some of these may be inaccessible during a severe storm.
- If you have pets, identify locations you can bring them to if necessary. These can include animal shelters, pet-friendly hotels, or an out-of-town friend or family member who can take them in the event that you are ordered to evacuate.
Gather Emergency Supplies
When a storm hits, stores may be closed, or you may be unable to leave your home for several days. Additionally, your water and power supply may be cut off. As a result, it’s critical to have essential emergency supplies on hand, including:
- Temporary power sources
- Safety and personal items
- Important documents
Emergency Food Supply
Make sure you have at least a three-day supply of food on hand in the event of a severe storm. Your emergency food supply should include items that:
- Are nonperishable and have a long shelflife
- Require minimal, if any, cooking, water, or refrigeration
- Aren’t overly salty or spicy as since these foods can increase your water intake
If you have pets, make sure you have an ample supply of dry pet food which does not require refrigeration.
In addition, have an emergency water supply of at least one gallon of water per day for each person and pet in your home. Make sure you have a minimum of three days total for everyone.
Emergency Medicine Supply
If a severe storm hits, you may be unable to find an open pharmacy. Therefore, you should keep an emergency supply of all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications your family members need.
To create your emergency medicine supply:
- Talk to your doctor and/or pharmacist about how you can acquire an emergency seven-day supply of all your prescription medications.
- Keep a list of all your prescription medications. Include information about the dosage and frequency of each medication.
- Include all over-the-counter medications regularly taken by anyone in your family. Consider adding items such as pain relievers, antihistamines, and antidiarrheal medicines even if these aren’t taken regularly.
- If any prescription medications need to be refrigerated, make sure you have a cooler and chemical ice packs on-hand in case you lose power.
Emergency Power Sources
Hurricanes, severe storms, and other natural disasters often result in power outages. Make sure you’re prepared to remain in your home for several days without power. Additionally, create an emergency power kit containing:
- Emergency lighting including flashlights, head lamps, or battery-powered lanterns as well as extra batteries
- A generator with enough fuel to keep it running for several days and at least 20 feet of extension cords rated for outdoor use
- Additional power supplies to charge portable electronic devices such as cell phones
- Battery-powered smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Appliance thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer
- Surge protector power strips
- Space heaters to keep you warm in cold temperatures
Safety and Personal Items
Prepare an emergency first aid kit that includes:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Disinfectant wipes
- Antiseptic spray
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing alcohol
In addition, have the following personal items ready:
- Extra blankets and towels
- Warm clothes
- Tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels
- Personal hygiene items (deodorant, toothpaste, soap, feminine items, etc.)
- Dust mask
- Games, books, and other items for entertainment
- Tools and repair supplies (tarps, hammer and nails, screwdrivers, work gloves, duct tape, etc.)
If you have a baby, make sure you have extra supplies on-hand, including:
- Baby food
- Medications and lotions
Place an additional copy of all of your important documents in a box and safely store them in a place that will be easily accessible, including:
- Passports or other identification
- Medical documents and shot records
- Legal documents such as wills
- Insurance policies
Preparing Your Business for a Hurricane or Natural Disaster
If you own a business, there are important steps you should take to prepare for a severe storm or other natural disaster:
- Understand your location and any critical risks that may affect your facility
- Evaluate your insurance to ensure you are adequately covered
- Ensure all crucial documents and records are stored or backed up electronically. Make sure you have a copy stored in the cloud in case your servers are damaged.
- Inventory all equipment, valuables, and vehicles
- Establish an Emergency Response Plan
- Have an emergency response partner in place
- Create a plan for employees in the event of business interruption, including protocols for work schedules, emergency contact information, emergency payroll, and housing
In addition to the steps discussed above, make sure you prepare your facility to withstand significant storm damage:
- Have a backup of supplies and materials essential for your business operations
- Prepare for flooding, especially if your facility is located in a floodplain
- Have a generator or other backup power options – fuel and service these items regularly
- Inspect all fire safety equipment regularly
- Have a continuity/protection plan in place for equipment and key operational items
- Inspect storm drains and clear out any debris regularly
- Inspect the roof, secure any equipment, and fix any damage
- Inspect the exterior of the structure – brace and secure any equipment
- Inspect all entrances, windows, seals, and locks
- Ensure exterior storage areas are secured and free of debris
- Keep a complete list of vendors and emergency contacts
- Ensure all landscaping and trees are properly maintained and trimmed where required and supported or propped where necessary
Comprehensive Disaster Restoration Services by Cousino Restoration & Environmental
When a severe weather event hits, the destruction to your home or commercial property can be truly devastating. At Cousino Restoration & Environmental, we’re here to help you restore your property to its pre-damage state. Our team offers comprehensive disaster remediation services for residential and commercial properties in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including:
With more than 45 years of experience restoring homes and businesses after storm and flood damage and more than 20,000 structures restored, our team has the experience to provide the exceptional service you need during this difficult time. Our skilled craftsmen and technicians are equipped to handle any size restoration project, and our depth of service allows us to manage the project from beginning to end. This gives you peace of mind that every stage of your storm damage restoration will be handled properly.
At Cousino Restoration and Environmental, our emergency response teams are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Contact us today or call 800-874-2122 for emergency restoration services.