Hurricane Matthew poses a significant threat to our area this weekend. WRNS will keep you up to date with the latest information from WITN and official local action statements over the next few days. The latest WITN Hurricane Updates can be found here. It is still too early to know the exact track and strength of the storm, or what impacts we will see, but the possibility exists that we may be dealing with a hurricane by the end of this week into the weekend. You should always have a disaster kit ready for unexpected problems, but now may be a good time to check your kits just in case you might need them this week. Restock the items in your kit that have limited shelf life, such as foods and medicines. If you have not made a disaster kit, here are some ideas to help you create one.
- Food and drink:
Drinking water: 1 gallon per person per day for at least 5 days.
Nonperishable food supplies: enough to see you and your family through the first 3 days. A severe storm can interrupt delivery of fresh food to stores. You need to be ready to feed yourself until stores restock and reopen. Disaster services can take up to 3 days to set-up after a storm.
Comfort foods to relieve stress (cookies, pastries, etc.)
Pet food and supplies.
Toilet paper, paper towels, plates and napkins, plastic tableware and drinking cups, wet wipes, plastic wrap, trash bags.
Two coolers: one for food, one for ice. Consider reusable cold packs to help keep food cold.
Manual can opener and bottle opener.
Grill lighter or matches.
Charcoal or gas tanks for grills and campstoves.
- Health and safety:
Flashlight and batteries for each person in your household. (Lantern style battery powered LED lights do well for lighting up rooms at night and run for extended time on batteries.)
First aid kit with bandages, antiseptic, tape, compresses, pain reliever, antidiarrhea medication, antacid.
Medications for routine illnesses such as colds. Liquid soap, hand sanitizer, wet wipes.
Water purification kit.
Two-week supply of vitamins, over-the-counter medications and prescription medicines.
Pet medications and other pet supplies.
Fire extinguisher. Also battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Battery-powered clock. Also battery powered radio or TV. Digital TV antenna if you have a generator to run your regular TV.
Infant necessities: medicine, diapers, formula, bottles, wipes.
Supplies for the elderly or the ill: Depends, bed pads, medications, special foods.
Raincoats, boots, etc.
Bug spray, sunscreen.
Cleaning supplies: mop, bucket, towels, disinfectant.
Camera or camcorder to record property and document damage for insurance claims.
Plastic trash bags and food storage bags.
A few tarps to cover broken windows or leaking roofs. Roofing tacks to hold them in place.
Charcoal or gas for grills or campstoves. (NEVER USE THEM INSIDE)
Board games or other activities to keep children occupied.
Write down emergency phone numbers, utilities numbers, etc.
Designate an out-of-area family contact person to coordinate family welfare and location calls. Keep them informed.
- If you evacuate: take the following with you to shelters
Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags or air mattresses.
Folding chairs or cots.
Extra clothing and shoes.
Personal hygiene items: toothbrush, washcloth, deodorant, etc.
Food and water.
Earplugs. Shelters can be noisy, and someone sleeping near you may snore.
Prescription medications in their original containers. Shelters are not hospitals and do not have access to drugs or medicine. Bring what you need.
Books, handheld games, cards, toys, needlework, iPod.
Personal comfort items for small children (favorite toy, blanket, doll, etc)
Important papers (in a safe location, such as an unmarked envelope in an overnight bag)
Cash, to buy food or gas after the storm (if anything is open).
Know if the shelter accepts animals, or board them in advance.
Kennel for animals in shelters.
Leave a porch light on at your home, to help the power company know if your power is out.
Be sure you have . . .
- Cash. If the power goes out, ATMs will not work and credit card networks will be down.
- Important documents stored in plastic bags or waterproof containers (insurance policy, identification, home inventory, medical insurance card, tax information, etc).
- Cell phone charger for your car
- Fuel and extension cords for generators (DO NOT USE INSIDE, use them properly)
- A full tank of gas in your car in case you need to suddenly evacuate before or after the storm
- Try not to use candles or gas lanterns to decrease chance of fire or injury. USE BATTERY LIGHTS
UNDERSTAND THAT EMERGENCY SERVICES MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RESPOND TO CALLS FOR HELP DURING THE STORM, AND MAY BE DELAYED RESPONDING AFTER A STORM. IF IN DOUBT AND YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY OFFICIALS TO EVACUATE, LEAVE!!!