It is important to take a proactive approach when dealing with severe weather. Prepare yourself for the worst possible scenario by protecting your property, establishing a clear evacuation plan, and implementing measures that will ease any difficulties after the storm has passed.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm1

While each storm may be different, these actions will help protect your home 

  • Proactively cut back trees and limbs that could fall on your home during a storm 
  • Clear tree limbs and other yard waste that could become projectiles during strong winds 
  • Secure fences, outdoor grills, and yard furniture; bring lighter items inside 
  • Clear gutters of debris 
  • Perform necessary roofing repairs prior to storm season 
  • Protect critical areas like windows, doors, and garage doors 
  • Park cars in a garage or covered area 
  • Stay clear of windows and close curtains to protect from shattered glass
  • Place valuables and important paperwork in a waterproof and/or fireproof box 


Additional preparation for wildfires 

  • ​ Use fire-resistant building materials whenever possible 
  •  Don’t keep fuel storage containers on your property 
  •  Install fire sprinklers   
  •  Cover all crawl spaces and access holes with ¼” or less wire mesh to prevent embers from entering the home 
  •  Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place 

Emergency Supply Kit

Have an emergency supply kit ready

  • Water: one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days
  • Non-perishable food: a minimum three-day supply per person 
  • Medications: prescription and non-prescription, pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, etc. 
  • Cash or traveler’s checks 
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio, plus extra batteries 
  • Flashlight, plus extra batteries 
  • First aid kit 
  • Whistle to signal for help 
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air 
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for sanitation 
  • Wrench and pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Manual can opener for canned food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and backup battery 


Additional Emergency Supplies


Consider adding the following items based upon individual needs 
  • A copy of your family emergency plan  
  • A document with evacuation routes and shelter locations 
  • Baby formula and diapers 
  • Glasses and contact lens solution 
  • Important family documents like identification, insurance policies, bank records, etc. –  these items should be placed in a portable waterproof container 
  • Sleeping bag and/or warm blanket for each person 
  • Complete change of clothing 
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water 
  • Fire extinguisher 
  • Matches 
  • Feminine hygiene items 
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles, and cards for activities 

Maintaining Your Kit2

Once your kit is assembled make sure to maintain it,so it is ready when needed 

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place 
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers 
  • Replace expired items as needed
  • Re-think your needs every year, and update your kit as your needs change


Preparedness for Pets3

Pets are part of the family and their needs must be identified for disaster preparedness 

  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of an approaching storm or disaster 
  • Place a rescue alert sticker at all entry areas – this will let rescue workers know that pets are inside. If you evacuate your pet(s), mark the sticker “evacuated” so rescue personnel know.
  • Arrange a safe haven: if the house is not safe for humans, it won’t be safe for pets.
  • Not all emergency shelters accept pets; ask your local animal shelter if it provides emergency shelter or foster care for pets 
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets
  • Ask relatives or friends outside of your immediate area if they would be willing to take your pet
  • Make sure pets wear collars with up-to-date identification information and urgent medical needs – the ASPCA also recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification 

Make a pet emergency kit that includes

  • Medication and pet first aid items (rotate medications to ensure freshness) 
  • Food for three to seven days (rotate dry food every two months) 
  • Bottled water (seven-day supply) 
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans also work) 
  • Litter or paper toweling 
  • Food and water bowls 
  • Extra collar or harness, and an extra leash 
  • Photocopies and/or flash drive of medical records (keep in a waterproof container) 
  • Traveling bag, crate, or sturdy carrier (one for each pet) 
  • Blanket 
  • Recent photos of your pet (in case you are separated and need to make a lost pet poster) 
  • Toys, chews, and kennel liners 


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