Important Papers and Documents
All too often, a last-minute scramble to get out of harm’s way means that you’ve left important papers and documents behind, or worse, that they are damaged during a storm. Set aside time in advance to gather and store your important papers and documents in a safe place or container that’s waterproof, easy to find and accessible. This includes photographs, passports, government documents, banking information, credit card numbers, prescriptions, insurance information and more. Even better, digitize your papers and documents so that they can be accessed online from anywhere.
Plastic Sheeting and Tarps
Roof damage is common in storms, so having plastic sheeting and tarps on hand can be the difference between minor and major damage. Invest in tie-downs, rope, bungie cords and a ladder to make the process easier. These items run out after a storm, so purchase in advance and store them together in a place that’s easy to access them when needed.
Generators and Fuel
When the power goes out, food spoils, then there’s no hot water and no access to air circulation (fans), or even a way to charge your cell phone or electric flashlight. A generator helps you avoid these inconveniences and keeps your family comfortable.
There are several different types, including solar and battery generators. However, the most common types are inverter, portable and home standby generators.
An inverter generator is:
- Safe for sensitive equipment
- Has 900-6,500 watts range
- 700-5,000 running watts rang
- 8.5 run time at 50 percent lead (hours)
A portable generator is:
- Has 900-20,000 watts range
- 800-17,500 running watts rang
- 9 run time at 50 percent lead (hours)
A home standby generator is:
- Safe for sensitive equipment
- Has 7,500-24,000 watts range
- 6,00-22,500 running watts rang
- Unlimited run time at 50 percent lead (hours)
Don’t forget to have the appropriate fuel and oil on hand for your generator. Fill propane tanks and gas cans as needed.
Canned and Dry Food, Including for Pets
Sheltering in place after a storm means limited access to food. Stock up on canned and dry foods that you can eat straight from the package or that can be made with little effort, such as pasta, rice and sandwiches. Also make sure you have food on hand for pets. And in a fully automated world, grab a manual can opener the next time you’re out, so that you can open food items without electricity.
Grills and Outdoor Cookers
Water and Coolers
Battery-Operated Flashlights, Radios, Alarm Clocks and Lanterns
After a storm, it’s not uncommon for one half of a neighborhood to have power and the other half to not. In situations like these, it’s helpful to have heavy-duty outdoor extension cords available for use.
Car Adapters and Chargers
Car adapters and power inverters can recharge everything from your phone to your laptop. There are several kinds to choose from. Just be sure to check the wattage restrictions before plugging in any electronics.
Wet/Dry Vacuums and Fans
Water damage is expensive, so the sooner you can get rid of standing water in and around your home, the better. A large wet/dry vacuum sucks up water and damaged items such as insulation, wood shavings, garbage and pieces of carpet. A sump pump moves water from low-lying areas in your home such as basements and crawl spaces. Fans will help dry wet areas and circulate air. Finally, installing gutters and downspouts directs water away from your home during a storm.