Worried about whether Tropical Storm Erika will make landfall in Florida? Experts say now is the time to prepare.
Here's what you need to do:
- Refill special medications.
- Get cash (ATMs may not work for days after).
- Fill up with gas. Check battery, water, oil. Make sure you have a spare tire and aerosol kits that fix and inflate flats.
- Check fire extinguishers. Prepare your boat. Prepare your pool. Don’t drain it.
- Get shutters, storm panels or plywood in place on windows. If you haven’t installed sockets, attach with wood screws; they’re better than nails and do less damage. Don’t tape windows.
- Move grills, patio furniture and potted plants inside.
- If you do any last-minute pruning, take clippings inside.
- Disconnect and remove satellite dish or antenna from your roof.
- Check your mailbox. If it’s loose, secure or remove it.
- Remove roof turbines and cap holes with screw-on caps.
- Prepare patio screening. What’s recommended: Remove a 6-foot panel on each side to let wind pass through.
Your hurricane kit
- Flashlights, extra bulbs
- Clock (wind-up or battery-operated)
- Battery-operated radio
- NOAA emergency weather radio
- Extra batteries
- Toilet paper
- Matches (camping stores have waterproof matches)
- Plastic garbage bags
- Working fire extinguisher
- Clean change of clothes, rain gear, sturdy swamp boots
- Fully charged battery-operated lanterns. Don’t use candles and kerosene lanterns. They are fire hazards.
- Map of the area
- List of phone numbers
- Copy of insurance policy
Get enough nonperishable food to last two weeks.
- Water: Enough for 2 gallons per person/per day, for one-week minimum. Two weeks is ideal.
- Ice or dry ice
- Shelf-stable milk and juice boxes
- Canned and powdered milk
- Beverages (powdered or canned, fruit juices, instant coffee, tea)
- Raw vegetables that don’t need refrigeration (will last only a few days)
- Canned vegetables and fruits
- Dried fruits
- Prepared foods (canned soups, beef, spaghetti, tuna, chicken, ham, corned beef hash, packaged pudding)
- Snacks (crackers, cookies, hard candy, unsalted nuts)
- Snack spreads (nut butters, cheese spreads, jelly)
- Sugar, salt, pepper
- Dry and canned pet food
- Hand tools: hammer, screwdrivers to use now, shovel and pickax for after the storm
- Quarter-inch machine screw sockets and screws
- Plastic sheeting to cover furniture
- Sturdy working gloves
- Duct tape to waterproof items; masking tape isn’t strong enough
- Canvas tarps
- Sturdy nails
- Broom, mop, squeegee
Two-week supply of prescription drugs. Your first-aid kit should include:
- Insect repellent sprays
- Citronella candles, insect bite lotion
- Petroleum jelly, for itching
- Ointments for burns, cuts
- Antiseptic solution
- Extra over-the-counter medicine (for colds, allergies, cough)
- Aspirin, acetaminophen, antacid
- Children’s medicines
- Diarrhea medication
- Feminine hygiene items
- Incontinence supplies
- Rubbing alcohol
- Iodine, disinfectant
- Wet wipes, moist towelettes
- Medic Alert tags
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Cotton-tipped swabs
- Sterile rolls
- Adhesive bandages
- Sterile gauze pads
- Roller bandages
- Tweezers, needles
- Adhesive tape
- Safety pins
- Latex gloves
- Waterless hand sanitizer
- Manual can opener
- Water purification tablets
- Bottle opener
- Matches in a plastic bag
- Pocket knife
- Camp stove or other cooking device and plenty of fuel.
- Ice chests or coolers
- Paper plates, napkins
- Plastic cups, utensils
- Plastic bags, jugs or containers for water and ice
Disposable diapers, wipes, ointment, medicine